The Department of Social Services (DSS) provides financial assistance for child care services through the payment of full or partial child care costs for eligible families based on a sliding scale fee system. The primary purpose of the Child Care Subsidy program is to enable families to obtain and retain employment, or the skills necessary to obtain employment, with the ultimate goal being to break the cycle of poverty. Child care is to be considered an on-going benefit to support the family’s efforts to obtain or maintain self-sufficiency. Once a family is approved and a child is authorized for Child Care Subsidy, benefits should continue as long as the family continues to meet the eligibility requirements.
The Child Care Subsidy program is funded by the Children’s Division (CD) through the Child Care Development Fund (CCDF). The Family Support Division (FSD) administers the Child Care Subsidy program through the Income Maintenance (IM) section.
Families may establish eligibility for Child Care Subsidy by:
- obtaining or maintaining employment;
- participating in an education or job training program;
- the “special needs” of the child;
- working with a community organization to eliminate homelessness; or
- the incapacitation of a parent.
Payment for child care services is made directly to a contracted child care provider through an invoice system.
Child Care Subsidy is available to Protective Services (PS) children through the CD as a part of the family’s treatment plan. The CD administers the Child Care Subsidy program through the Child Welfare section. FSD staff need to be aware of this service and should consult with CD staff if they suspect that CD may have an active PS child care case. Duplication of services must be prevented.