Boosting child care – Allstate gives $5M to initiative

CHICAGO – A new $41 million Children’s Capital Investment Fund will help Chicago’s child care centers meet growing community needs.

Allstate Corp. has donated the fund’s first capital — $5 million in seed money to provide low-interest loans to help child care and youth education nonprofits buy property and build or renovate child-care facilities in low-income areas.

The money is being donated through the Illinois Facilities Fund, a nonprofit that provides financing and real estate development for nonprofits that offer social services.

The Facilities Fund is expected to secure another $13.5 million in private capital and aims to ex0and child care to as many as 2,500 more Chicago youngsters.

Only 18 percent of Chicago children who qualify for state-subsidized care are being served in licensed child care centers and homes, a recent IFF study says.

Gail Nelson, executive director of the Carole Robertson Center for Learning — which manages two Chicago child care centers — says the Allstate donation is the first step to helping to provide affordable capital to expand child care.

The donation will be part of the city’s $41 million Children’s Capital Investment Fund set up in the city’s Early Child Care and Education Plan.

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley says the investment dollars also will be managed by the Illinois Facilities Fund .

Since it was established in 1990, the Illinois Facilities Fund has made 171 loans totaling $31 million to more than 110 nonprofits, such as child care centers, community health clinics and homeless shelters.

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