Sen. Michael E. Hastings

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois military families may soon have an easier time finding childcare, thanks to State Senator Michael E. Hastings.

“Our brave military personnel work tirelessly to keep our communities safe and it is imperative that they know their children are well taken care of at home,” said Hastings (D-Frankfort). “Removing red tape and streamlining the licensure process for our nation’s heroes will help speed up the licensure process for daycare homes serving these brave families.”

Hastings passed House Bill 5596, which would create an exemption from licensure for daycare homes and group daycare homes serving children of military personnel if the daycare is located on a military base or federal property and is certified as a child development program by a brand of the U.S. Department of Defense or the U.S Coast Guard.

The measure is an initiative of Blue Star Families to help assist in meeting childcare demands of military communities in Illinois.

Hastings, who is the father of two young children and one of the only two veterans in the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus, is an avid advocate for childcare assistance and commonsense legislation that assists military and veteran families in communities across the state.

“Military families continuously struggle to find quality, affordable child care,” said Hastings. “Our hope is that this legislation will assist increasing capacity and helping eliminate the shortages.”

House Bill 5596 passed the Senate’s Health and Human Services on Tuesday.