CHICAGO (CBS) — Some Illinois parents will be getting much-needed relief as they try to get back to work after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gov. JB Pritzker on Tuesday announced the state is expanding financial assistance for families seeking child care. Under expanded assistance program, 80 percent of families will pay less for child care.

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“We’re ensuring quality child care is accessible for more people – allowing more people to return to work without worry about where their kids will go during the day, and helping Illinois’ child care network rebuild,” Gov. Pritzker said Tuesday.

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Under the plan, family payments or co-payments for child care providers will be reduced to $1 per month for families with incomes at or below the federal poverty limit. Family payments will be capped at 7 percent of family income.

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Families with an income that surpasses 250 percent of the federal poverty level will also remain eligible for child care assistance; the cap had been 225 percent. Reimbursement rates for all Child Care Assistance Program providers will also be raised by 3.5 percent.

CBS 2 Chicago Staff