Financial Assistance Program - Day Camp & Park Kids

The Chicago Park District has limited funds available to provide financial assistance for families who wish to enroll in the summer day camp program or the Park Kids after school program but are unable to afford the full price.  If approved, financial assistance will cover half of the program cost.  Customers are responsible for paying the other half.

Financial assistance is only available to City of Chicago residents.

Customers are asked to present ONE of the following in person, at a park, to demonstrate financial need:

1.  State of Illinois – Department of Human Services Notice of Decision – Summary Section confirming participation in Cash, Medical, or SNAP benefits. This notice accompanies the issuance of a LINK/EBT card. Reissued notices may be requested from your caseworker at a DHS Family Community Resource Center. Paying customer must be listed as the benefits recipient.

2.  State of Illinois – Healthcare and Family Services Medical Card (not any other medical or insurance card). The child being enrolled must be listed as a covered person and paying customer must be listed as Case Name.

3.  Proof of income that shows the household falls below the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services-determined Federal Poverty Guideline, by providing one of two options:

  • Check stubs from the last 30 days to determine net monthly income, for the paying customer; must be parent or guardian of child being enrolled.
  • Previous Year’s IRS form (1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ) and corresponding W2, for the paying customer; must be parent or guardian of child being enrolled.

To assist patrons using the financial assistance discount (50%) at the start of online registration, financial assistance documentation is being accepted in-person at parks before online registration begins.  Once completed and approved, the enrolling patron's account is updated to include the Financial Assistance prerequisite. When registering for summer camp or Park Kids, a patron with the prerequisite will automatically be discounted 50% of the program cost.  If this step isn't completed prior to online registration, patrons still have the option to register online by paying 100% at the time of registration and then presenting the documentation at the park to receive the 50% refund.

Note:  For summer 2020, documentation can be brought into parks starting on Monday, June 8. Park hours are 9 am - 5 pm.  Online registration begins June 11 & 12.  In order to register on the first days of online registration, documentation must be received at a park prior to June 11.

If a patron received financial assistance for camp during the summer, they can notify the park supervisor of their request to receive financial assistance for the Park Kids program in the fall without having to resubmit the documentation listed above. This can be done by calling or visiting the park where they plan to enroll in the Park Kids program.  Once completed, the enrolling patron's account is updated to include this financial assistance prerequisite for fall.

Please note:

  • Information submitted is confidential. Documents will be reviewed by Park Staff and returned to the customer; copies will not be made or retained.
  • Eligibility for financial assistance does not guarantee a slot in the programs and cannot be used in conjunction with any other discount or voucher programs.
  • Applicants that do not qualify for Financial Assistance may inquire about the payment plan option, for summer programming only, at their local park.



CHA Discount

Vouchers are available to CHA residents to use for day camp during the summer, and Park Kids, Leisure Education and Break Camps in the fall.  When using a voucher, parents/guardians pay a reduced fee for these programs. Vouchers can be obtained from FamilyWorks, HCV and Local Advisory Council offices and presented in-person to any park at the time of registration. Other discounts and financial assistance cannot be used along with these vouchers.

CHA residents can bring their voucher to a park to get pre-qualified before online registration begins. This new step allows CHA residents to register online and pay the discounted fee using a debit or credit card.  If this step isn't completed prior to online registration, residents still have the option to register online by paying 100% of the cost of the program at the time of registration and then presenting the CHA voucher at the park to receive the refund, or through the existing in-person registration process. 

Being qualified for this discount does not reserve a spot in these programs.  It only allows payment of the reduced price at the time of registration. 

For more information, email us or call us at 312.742.PLAY (7529) or 312.747.2001 (TTY).