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Parents Face Childcare Challenges As Illinois Moves To Phase Four

Aline Ponce

As Illinois continues to re-open, one challenge facing many families is childcare.

Lori Longueville, director of Child Care Resource and Referral at John A. Logan College, said there has been an increase in families looking for childcare, as their traditional options, like summer camps, have been cancelled due to the pandemic.

It’s a problem that continues to grow, she said, as people who have been furloughed or working remotely return to their offices.

Longueville says the issue is compounded by guidelines reducing the number of children allowed in a daycare setting, as well as some home-based providers deciding to stay closed due to concerns about coronavirus. Some childcare facilities have also faced issues with staffing, which was already an issue before the pandemic hit.

“It’s really brought to the forefront the importance of childcare to the infrastructure of our communities and to the infrastructure of our economies,” she said.

She said she hopes that is one lesson people take away from the pandemic, and that communities will continue to work to fill gaps in the system as the state moves forward.