The Illinois Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) makes it possible for families and guardians who qualify to receive financial help. The program pays for child care costs so you can work, attend training, or school. All families pay a portion of the cost of child care as a co-payment, which is based on income and family size.
Use this Eligibility Calculator to see if your family may qualify for the Child Care Assistance Program.
To apply, complete the application and submit it to your local Child Cares Resource and Referral Agency (CCR&R).
Early Head Start and Head Start programs support the early care and education needs of families facing hardship during their children’s early years. These programs address issues of poverty and promote school readiness with resources to meet the family’s education, health, nutritional, and social service needs. Early Head Start is available for pregnant women, infants, and toddlers. Head Start is available for families with children ages 3-5 years old.
For questions on how to apply for the Head Start program, visit here.
Use the Head Start Center locator map to search for Head Start, Early Head Start, and other centers
The Illinois Early Intervention Program is designed to provide developmental support and services to families/caregivers and their children with developmental delays or disabilities. Services include coordination, evaluations and assessments, and individualized family service plans.
Learn more about Early Intervention.
Search for a DHS office or services provider by entering your county.
Home visiting programs provide support and coaching to families through planned, regular visits with trained professionals. It is a voluntary program where parents work with home visitors to improve child development, family health, parenting skills, family bonding, and more, based on the unique priorities and schedules of each family.
Families can find and contact a Home Visiting program (or a Coordinated Intake site) in their local community. (A referral is NOT needed).
More information on Home Visiting can be found on the igrow website.
The Preschool for All program is providing education services to all 3- and 4-year old children whose families choose to participate. The program focuses on providing high-quality educational programs for children who are determined to be at risk of academic failure.
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) provides more details and information on the Preschool for All program.