Westside Parent Leaders Speak at Child Care for All Town Hall

Lisa Russell and Yolanda Williams stand in front of a sign in support of child care for all

POWER-PAC IL/Chicago Westside Branch Delegate Lisa Russell and POWER-PAC IL Early Learning Campaign Co-Chair Yolanda Williams spoke at the Illinois Child Care for All Coalition’s West Side Town Hall on October 5. The Coalition, which COFI and POWER-PAC IL are a part of, called on local and state officials to help child care providers earn a livable wage and to make child care accessible and affordable for families. Read more about the Town Hall in the Austin Weekly News.

“High costs of child care financially strain parents like Lisa Russell from Garfield Park who spoke to about a dozen attendees, including Ald. Jason Ervin (28th) at a town hall in a Garfield Park church.

High costs in child care impose additional barriers for working mothers. Expensive child care and minimum public investment, in the form of subsidies or publicly funded childcare, force mothers to quit their jobs. Mothers with lower wages are especially affected, the Department of Labor reported early this year.

In Cook County, women’s median earnings are $32,000 while the median cost of childcare at a daycare center is about $18,000 dollars, data by the Department of Labor shows. That cost represents near 19% of the median family income in the county.

In West Side communities, between 15% to 25 % of family households are single-parent households, data by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning shows.

Russell’s daughter was forced to quit her job after receiving a promotion, as the wage increases disqualified her from the state’s assistance program.

Since its launch, the Illinois Child Care for All Coalition has pushed for expanding income-based eligibility to the Illinois child care assistance program.”