Publication Date

Spring 2016

Document Type

Project Summary

Degree Name

Doctor of Education



First Advisor

Mary D. Bruce, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Toney Ford, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Andre Ashmore, Ph.D.


There are over 800,000 children in Illinois that need to be placed in early learning programs. Many programs are closing due to the lack of financial support from government programs that provide financial assistance to parents who cannot afford to pay for childcare. The budget crisis that Illinois is currently experiencing has caused a decrease in funding early childhood education, and has cut many programs that are beneficial to home-based childcare businesses. What is happening to the children and the families that depend on childcare assistance? How does that affect the economy? What will happen to the communities that need childcare?

The purpose of this research is to find out what is happening to home-based childcare businesses as a result of the Illinois budget crisis. This study investigates how home-based childcare businesses have been affected by state budget cuts and examines whether there have been changes to these childcare programs, and if so explores the various types of changes the five home - based childcare businesses implemented? A qualitative interpretation descriptive method was employed in which data was collected by interviewing five licensed home-based childcare business owners. The limitations of this study include little to no research from the home-based childcare provider's perspective on funding home childcare businesses and problems with childcare.

The qualitative results revealed declining enrollment and loss of income among home-based childcare businesses. In addition, the results revealed an increase in the demand for childcare. These findings show that there is an increasing need for childcare slots and inadequate funding to meet the needs. Lev Vygotsky developed a theory of child development, which is the theoretical framework used in this study. It supports the need for early childhood education and childcare. Vygotsky, along with other theorist like Jean Piaget, believed that cognitive development in children is constant, begins in infancy and is stimulated by environmental influences, which are primarily provided in childcare settings. Additional findings from this study include wage discrepancy. Current statistics report that home-based licensed childcare providers enrolled in CCAP receive an hourly salary on average of about $8 to $10 per hour (depending on the total number of children enrolled) (DHS, 2016). The actual breakdown per child is under $3 per hour.

Future implications are that this research creates substantial changes to laws, theories and practices that recognize the importance of home-based childcare businesses. In addition, another goal of this research is to mandate permanent funding and support from the state the level of government state or federal or both government that can stabilize programs for early childhood education, and create sustainability opportunities for home-based childcare businesses.