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 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 in support the family’s efforts to obtain or maintain self-sufficiency. Once a family is approved and a child authorized for child care benefits, child care should continue as long as the family continues to meet the eligibility requirements.
The Child Care Assistance program is funded by the Children’s Division (CD) through the Family Support Division (FSD). The FSD administers the child care assistance program through the income maintenance section. Protective Services (PS) child care is administered by the Children’s Division.
Families may establish eligibility for child care assistance by:
- obtaining or maintaining employment;
- participating in an education or job training program;
- the “special needs” of the child; -or-
- the incapacitation of a parent.
Payment for child care services is made directly to a contracted or registered provider through an invoice system. In limited situations, payment can occur through reimbursement to the parent.
Protective Services: Child care is available through the Children’s Division as a part of the family’s treatment plan. Income Maintenance (IM) staff will not be involved in determining eligibility for this category of care. IM staff need to be aware of this service and should consult with CD staff if they suspect that Children’s Division may have an active PS child care case. Duplication of services must be prevented.