Under the recently passed federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act, certain employers are required to provide emergency paid sick leave when an employee is unable to work because a child’s school or day care is closed to due to COVID-19 precautions. This provision is currently in effect through December 31, 2020. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division administers and enforces this law. Please visit their website for more information.
The Governor’s Office of Early Childcare Development (https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/OECD/Pages/COVID-19.aspx) has contact information and an online provider search to assist with finding emergency child care in your area.
Governor Pritzker’s Stay at Home Executive Order 2020-10 ( https://www2.illinois.gov/Pages/Executive-Orders/ExecutiveOrder2020-10.aspx ) states that “Home-based care and services” are “essential businesses” that may continue operating to provide care for children (and others), including caregivers such as nannies who may travel to the child’s home to provide care. Note that this is not an exemption for in-home day care providers licensed by the state.
In addition, the Executive Orders exempt certain Emergency Day Care Programs, that have been granted an emergency license, for the children of employees exempted by the Executive Order. Please check with your child’s day care center to ask if they have applied for, or been granted, an emergency license.
If you need food assistance, please check out these websites to find distribution locations and hours of operation. We recommend checking the sites regularly, or calling ahead, as locations and hours may change.
In addition, many school districts are providing food for 2-3 meals on weekdays for children age 18 and younger. Check online or call your school district (you may need to leave a message) for more information about food distribution sites and hours.
Food Banks.net https://www.foodbanks.net/ click on your state for a list of food banks.
Greater Chicago Food Depository https://www.chicagosfoodbank.org/ services Chicago and Cook County.
Northern Illinois Food Bank https://solvehungertoday.org/ partners with programs across 13 counties in Northern Illinois.
Community Food Basket of Ottawa https://www.ottawafoodbasket.org/
River Bend Food Bank https://riverbendfoodbank.org/ serving eastern Iowa and Western Illinois.
Food Bank of Northwest Indiana https://foodbanknwi.org/ based in Merrillville, IN.
Food Bank of Northern Indiana https://feedindiana.org/ based in South Bend, IN.
Emergency Rental Assistance is available for people suffering financial hardship due to a crisis such as loss of job, home fire or illness. The program is intended to allow families to maintain housing during the time it takes to regain stability. For more information about Emergency Rental Assistance, visit your local Community Service Center or call 3-1-1.
All Chicago administers the Emergency Fund which provides critical financial assistance to people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness or another serious emergency. They can quickly provide payments on a person’s behalf for things like rent, utilities, or transportation.
Housing Forward has an Emergency Assistance program for suburban Cook County residents. The Emergency Assistance program provides referrals and emergency financial assistance for food, housing, utilities and transportation to individuals and families at urgent risk.
If you or a family member is out with illness, such leave may be covered under FMLA. See the USDOL Wage and Hour Division’s COVID-19 and the Family and Medical Leave Act Questions and Answers page.
For City of Chicago resources and support, see the City’s Coronavirus Response center – https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/sites/covid-19/home.html
Protecting the health, safety, and wellbeing of Illinoisans is Governor Pritzker’s top priority. The administration continues to work closely with local health departments, county officials and federal partners to put systems in place to respond to COVID-19. This website will provide the latest news releases related to coronavirus, video archives of press conferences and tips from leading experts to keep you and your family safe. – https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/coronavirus/Pages/default.aspx
The United Way of Metro Chicago has created a service locator tool that uses zip-code based geo-location to help affected individuals find different services close to their home. – https://liveunitedchicago.org/neighborhood-services/