As a result of Governor Thompsons Summit in 1988, Illinois moved forward with a plan to establish a statewide resource and referral system to better coordinate the state's child care programs. The planning stage for the system was funded by the American Express Foundation and was coordinated through the United Way of Chicago. Operational funding and initial coordination of the system was provided by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. In 1994, CCR&R expanded its service menu to include administration of the child care subsidy programs and the system coordination duties/funding transferred to the Illinois Department of Human Services.
A project of John A Logan College, Child Care Resource and Referral has been operational in southern Illinois since February 1, 1991.During that time CCR&R has served as a community hub for child care and early education. In addition to funding from IDHS, CCR&R partners with other agencies, organizations and businesses for projects to support its mission. Current funding partners include Illinois Action for Children, Strengthening Families Illinois, and the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (INCCRRA). Some programs receive financial support through fees for service.