Rep. Wilhour Encourages Applicants for $114 Million in ‘BIG’ Grants for Childcare Programs

State Representative Blaine Wilhour is urging people to consider applying for grants to support childcare centers who have been impacted by the recent coronavirus shutdowns. An additional $114 million in grants will be available for child care providers across the state through the Business Interruption Grants (BIG) program, the second round of funding dedicated to supporting child-care centers and homes.

“Child care providers have been hit hard by these forced shutdowns and limits placed on the numbers of children allowed in those who have been open,” stated Rep. Wilhour. “We need these childcare facilities to be open so moms and dads can get back to work to help grow our economy and allow families to take care of the essentials of paying their bills.”

Grantees eligible for funding include childcare centers and family childcare homes that are licensed by the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and are currently open and serving children in their communities. IDHS is partnering with the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (INCCRRA) to distribute the grants.

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) indicates that in the first round of grants over $156 million in BIG funding has been provided to 4,686 child care providers across Illinois facing challenges as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The first round of funding helped childcare centers and homes in 95 counties across the state. Forty-seven percent of the grant funds were awarded to childcare programs located in areas that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

Applications will be available online in the coming weeks at