JLCU has a long tradition of Public Affairs & Advocacy. Here’s a bit more about what we do and why we do it.
JLCU Position Statement:
JLCU is committed to introducing, supporting, and acknowledging the creation and enforcement of legislation and programs that support its long-term strategic impact area, Basic Needs for School Readiness, such that all children are prepared for success in the classroom by having stable resources.
As such, the Junior League of Champaign-Urbana may advocate within each of the following impact areas, as they relate to Basic Needs for School Readiness:
Additional Position Statements
Advocacy efforts are targeted to legislation and action within JLCU’s long-term strategic impact area but may also include other focus areas, as approved by the Board and/or the general membership. Focus area(s) include or have historically included:
Arts and Culture
Well-being and Growth
Public Affairs & Advocacy encourages JLCU to take a public stand regarding the importance of quality, affordable child care in Illinois, as it relates to our position statement and impact areas.
Unfortunately, the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) in the State of Illinois ran out of state funding early this year. The program is funded up to 45% by federal funds, therefore this leaves the CCAP underfunded by the nearly $300 million needed to keep the program running through June 30, 2015. If not addressed, this problem would continue into the next fiscal year and beyond.
Paying the unsubsidized (full) cost of child care is nearly impossible for most families using CCAP. New children may be denied access to the program while children already in the program may be unable to stay in quality early care and education programs and before/after school programs. Child care providers may not be paid on-time by the state for their services, which may make it harder for them to serve families. The effect of having child care providers shut down due to late or unavailable state payments will also negatively impact families relying on these centers for child care. The employers of these families would also be negatively impacted should families be unable to replace the unexpected loss of child care. Eligibility requirements for CCAP may also change, which would disqualify many families, or split child care access for families where younger children are covered, but older children are not. This may lead to additional young children not being well cared for while parents are working.
JLCU Public Stand
Recognizing that quality, affordable child care is critical to the success of working families, and that the immediacy of this issue is currently negatively impacting thousands of Illinois children, women, and small business owners whose livelihoods and financial stability are impacted by lack of funding for child care:
The Junior League of Champaign-Urbana (JLCU) acknowledges the urgency of finding funding for Child Care Assistance in a manner that addresses the critical need through the end of this fiscal year. JLCU also encourages the development of a long-term solution that sustainably supports child care assistance in the future.
PA&A’s plan to advocate for a solution to the childcare funding problem:
The PA&A committee is currently researching bills and legislative efforts that focus on solutions to the child care funding deficit.
In April, we will begin a letter writing campaign in order to communicate our public stand to local legislators.
As well, PA&A will reach out to other local community partners and non-profit organizations to determine if other groups are also advocating for this issue. If so, we may be able to work together to create a stronger voice for the cause.
Schedules permitting, PA&A plans to meet with local legislators and educate them about the JLCU and our mission, position statement, and public stand, in an effort to show our potential, non-partisan support for legislation that relates to our areas of interest, particularly focusing on a long term solution to sufficient CCAP funding.
*If you have any interest in these areas or working on behalf of JLCU, please contact the Public Affairs and Advocacy Committee.