Section 7 of the Child Care Act of 1969 (“Act”) has been amended as follows:
By July 1, 2022, all licensed day care home providers, licensed group day care home providers, and licensed day care center directors and classroom staff shall participate in at least one training that includes the topics of early childhood social emotional learning, infant and early childhood mental health, early childhood trauma, or adverse childhood experiences. Current licensed providers, directors, and classroom staff shall complete training by July 1, 2022 and shall participate in training that includes the above topics at least once every 3 years. 225 ILCS 10/7(a)(17) (emphasis added).
If you haven’t already taken a training that meets the new requirement, the Gateways Registry approved training, Trauma-Informed Practice for Child Care Providers, will meet this DCFS requirement. The link to the training is: https://courses.inccrra.org/enrol/index.php?id=1484
You will need your Gateways Registry username and password to access the training. Once completed, it will automatically appear on your Professional Development Record (PDR).
Please contact your DCFS licensing representative if you have any questions.
PRITZKER ADMINISTRATION TAKES ACTION TO SUPPORT FAMILIES AMID BABY FORMULA SHORTAGE
The State of Illinois is taking a series of important steps to help families get the safe formula they need in response to the current, nationwide infant formula shortage. In coordination with the USDA Food & Nutrition Service, Illinois retailers are being encouraged to set aside formula for low-income families enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program. The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) has also trained caseworkers to assist families with formula questions IDHS Help Line at 1-800-843-6154. The Help Line is primarily designed to assist customers with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and WIC customers but is open to all residents of Illinois.
“The ongoing formula shortage has brought undue stress into the lives of new parents and my administration will do everything in our power to help families maintain access to formula,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “We’ve partnered with our suppliers and continue to ramp up our support centers to ensure our residents, especially low-income families, have what they need to care for their babies.”
State public health officials are urging families to purchase a modest supply of formula during the shortage, which is expected to ease in the coming weeks. “We have a special obligation to WIC families. About one-half of babies born in Illinois participate in WIC in the first year of their lives” said IDHS Secretary Grace B. Hou. “We will continue to do everything possible to safeguard their development and access to safe, nutritious formula.” As of March 2022, there were 43,568 infants active on the WIC program.
“We understand that the ongoing recall leaves parents and caregivers very concerned about how they will feed their babies and children with rare diseases and conditions who rely on formula,” said IDPH Acting Director Dr. Amaal Tokars. “We want to remind families during this time to avoid attempting to make ‘homemade’ formula, or to hoard supplies of formula from stores.” The formula shortage has been caused by a combination of issues. In midFebruary, the FDA recalled products from several brands of baby formula produced by Abbott Laboratories, including some types of Similac , Alimentum and EleCare after babies became sick from consuming them. Supply chain problems associated with the pandemic have also played a role in the shortage. Since February, the IDHS WIC unit has been troubleshooting related customer concerns, but with today’s statewide hotline expansion, IDHS hopes to support many more families to obtain the formula they need.Illinois contracts with Mead Johnson, the Chicago-based manufacturer of “Enfamil” to exclusively supply standard infant formulas for Illinois’ WIC customers. Mead Johnson has ramped up production of its two most used products by over 10% in March and April and 60% in May as compared to pre-recall. IDHS is working closely with Mead Johnson, retail vendors statewide, and Catholic Charities to ensure all families, and especially those in the WIC program, can access formula.
Illinois offers direct support to WIC-eligible families through a network of 96 local agency providers. Providers include local health departments, communitybased organizations, and hospitals. Illinois has about 1,500 authorized retail vendors — including Walgreen’s, Jewel, Kroger, Meyer, Hy-Vee, and CVS — that accept WIC “Electronic Benefit Transfer” (EBT) cards. There are also 16 WIC Food and Nutrition Centers (FNC) in the Chicago area operated by Catholic Charities, which are available only to WIC participants.
The steps Illinois is taking reinforce measures taken by the USDA and the US Food and Drug Administration to improve the supply and ensure the safety of infant formula across the United States. For families whose babies require specialty, metabolic formulas, the FDA recently informed Abbott Nutrition that the agency has no objection to releasing urgent, life-sustaining supplies of certain specialty and metabolic formulas on a case-bycase basis. Abbott has established a request line for patients and caregivers seeking access to their specialty formulas: 1-800-881-0876.
EI CLEARINGHOUSE OFFERING iPADS AND HOTSPOTS FOR LIVE VIDEO VISITS
Many families in early intervention are receiving services by live video visits. To help families with technology needs, the EI Clearinghouse has added several technology devices to the lending library:
- iPads with a cellular data plan (device and Internet access)
- iPads without a cellular data plan (device)
- Hotspot with cellular data plan (Internet access)
For more information about live video visits, see our tip sheet Introduction to Early Intervention (EI) Live Video Visits: Frequently Asked Questions (also available in Spanish).
LEARN MORE ABOUT DEVELOPMENTAL SCREENINGS
Early childhood programs often use developmental screenings to get a snapshot of a child’s development and determine whether further assessment is needed. Parents and teachers can benefit from an understanding of what developmental screenings are and how developmental screening tools work. To learn more, listen to our latest podcast, Developmental Screenings for Young Children: What Parents and Teachers Need to Know, with Dr. Marisa Macy from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Our tip sheet, What Is Developmental Screening?, is a helpful complement to the podcast.
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ONLINE TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES FOR CHILD CARE PROVIDERS
For on-line training opportunities, remember the Gateways i-learning website is always available at: https://courses.inccrra.org. These trainings are Gateways Registry-approved and cover a variety of child development and early childhood education topics. Trainings automatically appear on your Gateways Registry Professional Development Record (PDR), and they are FREE. Be sure to have your Gateways Registry online username and password to login.
Below is a listing of other free or low-cost on-line training opportunities that are available to all child care providers:
- COX Campus: https://www.coxcampus.org/app/courses/
- Early Childhood Investigations Webinars: https://www.earlychildhoodwebinars.com (You can access past webinars at any time.)
- edWeb.net: https://home.edweb.net/webinars/
- Penn State Extension — Better Kid Care: https://extension.psu.edu/programs/betterkidcare
- STARnet: http://starnet.org/home/
- Texas A&M AgriLife Extension: http://extensiononline.tamu.edu/courses/child_care.php
- The Center: Resources for Teaching and Learning – Early Childhood Professional Learning: https://www.eclearningil.org/professional-learning/
Please contact Jenny Garinger if you have any training questions or if you know of any other helpful online trainings at 217-333-7816 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
OUR OFFICE IS STILL CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC
Please note, the CCRS OFFICE IS STILL CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC. At this time, only University students and staff are permitted in the building. Please, do not attempt to enter the building with the expectation of being able to enter our office. This will not happen. We are trying to determine how to open within University guidelines while keeping our visitors and staff safe. We appreciate your continued patience.
To drop off forms, use the CCRS Drop Box located on the front door of Bevier Hall on Goodwin Avenue. The drop box inside Bevier Hall is closed; only staff and students are allowed inside buildings.
To contact staff, please call 217-333-3252 or 800-325-5516 or submit questions or forms through email at email@example.com or fax at 217-333-2147.