Letter to the editor: Lessons learned from the April 2017 murder of 17-month old Sema'j Crosby motivated recent General Assembly action to protect children.

The Illinois Senate on May 17 passed House Bill 4885, which make children under five in families receiving Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS) Intact Family Services automatically eligible for the state's childcare program. HB 4885 also makes these children who are under age three eligible for Early Intervention, the state program to identify and address disabilities and developmental delays.

This legislation benefits families investigated by DCFS in three ways:

  1. Children will receive quality childcare from trained professionals in approved


  1. Children will receive treatment as necessary for behavior, movement and

learning problems;

  1. Parents will be able to devote their days to parenting classes, physical and

behavioral health treatment, and other supportive activities.

HB 4885, of which I am the Senate chief sponsor, earlier passed the Illinois House.

It now awaits the Governor's signature to become law.

Senator PatMcGuire

State Senator, District 43