Child Care Resource Service (CCRS) is a resource and referral service serving parents in Champaign, Douglas, Iroquois, Macon, Piatt, and Vermilion counties. CCRS helps parents locate available child care and maintains current, detailed information on more than 600 licensed and licensed-exempt centers and family child care providers in East Central Illinois. Staff persons are experienced professionals who assist parents in clarifying their child care needs and evaluating quality center or family child care arrangements.
CCRS staff provide parents with a list of child care options and information on how to select quality care. Parents who use this service are charged a sliding scale fee based on their family’s income and size. CCRS also manages the state program of financial child care assistance and provides technical assistance to parents and providers involved with this program. This includes processing applications from parents, processing provider payments, and re-determining eligibility every six months.
CCRS collects data on the availability of child care services and the demand for those services. These data help identify gaps that exist in the local child care market. CCRS works to add to the supply of care where the most serious gaps exist by recruiting additional family child care providers. CCRS provides training workshops and resource materials to child care providers listed with the service. CCRS is available to contract with local employers for parent referrals, training and technical assistance. The agency also offers guidance in quality, health & safety, and navigating the early childhood field.
The agency is funded annually through the Illinois Department of Human Services. Additional funding is received from the University of Illinois whose faculty, staff, and students represent a percentage of CCRS users. CCRS is a program of the University of Illinois in the College of Agriculture, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences, the Department of Human and Community Development, and the University of Illinois Extension Service and has been serving parents and child care providers in local communities since 1985.
With a staff of 30+ people, we work inhouse to serve the child care needs of our six counties where the total 2020 Census population is 51,764 children under the age of nine. Out of this population of children, 26,634 children are under the age of five years and 25,130 children are from age six to nine years old.
According to the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Early Childhood Initiative report in 2019, across our six counties, there are only 14,960 child care slots available while there are 22,410 children in need of child care. That is a gap of 33% between those in need of child care and spaces available.
CCRS maintains detailed information for these child care spaces which may be licensed and/or licensed exempt family home and centers in East Central Illinois. Other children are being served in the homes of relatives and friends, of which 31% of these cases are processed through the Child Care Assistance Program. Our mission is to serve this population to the best of our abilities and striving to lower the slot gap with quality, affordable child care.
We are committed to work together as a team, all members of which have genuine concern and respect for each other. We are committed to help each other accomplish goals, and even compromise to help each other succeed and grow, both professionally and personally.
We take seriously the responsibility for being sensitive to each other and for helping each other to achieve success. We recognize that we will not always agree with one another, but we are committed to communicate both verbally and in written form (email) with one another in respectful and professional ways.
We expect that leadership will give work assignments for the betterment of the agency with consideration of fairness and equity and that staff members will respond respectfully. In addition, we expect that leadership will be responsible for setting CCRS office policy and procedures for the improvement or health of the agency. When possible, staff will be involved in the policy decision making; however, at times this won’t be feasible.
We are committed to a high standard of excellence, to accountability, to integrity, and to professionalism. We recognize that while effort is important, quality and efficiency in our work and public perception of that quality and efficiency is essential. Likewise, as many of us like to decorate and “personalize” our own spaces only child care or CCRS related materials will be located outside of our cubicles.
As professionals we participate in the management of our enterprise, we offer our best counsel and advice to those charged with leadership of our organization, and we help our organization achieve its goals. Our leadership is committed to the continuing excellence and growth of the agency as well as the professional development and well-being of each individual. We welcome as members of our team other professionals who accept these same standards and commitments.