Some Illinois childcare providers forced to close after not getting paychecks from state


CHICAGO — Some Illinois childcare providers have been forced to close their doors after they did not receive their paychecks from the state.

Childcare workers across the state are still waiting for their monthly paychecks, which they should have received at the beginning of January.

But 19 days later and many are unable to pay bills and are closing their doors until that money comes in.

“I got a license through the state of Illinois to be a childcare provider and take care of children and help families in need,” Kandanise Ramseur said. “And now I’m in need.

Normally Ramseur’s apartment would be bustling with young children. The 25 year old runs a daycare out of her home in West Garfield Park.

“No babies crying, nobody beating blocks on the tables and the floors,” she said.

Ramseur watches 12 kids, all from low-income families whose care is paid for by the government.

She typically receives a monthly check for $6-8,000, which covers the children’s needs, like clothes, shoes and other things they might need but not getting at home.

Whatever is leftover is her own income, and with the delay in her paycheck from the state, she’s unable to afford her bills.

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Ramseur asked her parents to pay $45 a day until her paycheck comes in.

“And they would be reimbursed but most parents can’t do that,” she said.

So Ramseur closed for the past two days, driving for Doordash and Instacart to try and make up for the missing income.

“But it don’t pay, it’s $10 a trip,” she said.

She and other childcare providers have contacted both the Illinois Department of Human Services and the Comptroller’s Office to get answers but have received mixed messages.

“IDHS’ Division of Early Childhood is dedicating every available resource to addressing a backlog of payments to our providers that developed in the past few weeks,” a statement from IDHS read. “We have corrected the technical issue, communicated with providers, and are moving payments through the process as fast as possible.”

But until those payments come through, Ramseur said she expects more childcare workers in the state to temporarily close.

“We’re providers,” Ramseur said. “We’re here to help other people and nobody is helping us.”

Ramseur said she is part of a group of 17,000 providers in the state and many of them are planning to join her in shutting down on Monday if they don’t receive their paychecks.

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