This sections details the types of providers, care settings, and provider qualifications which affect Department of Social Services (DSS) ability to make a child care payment on behalf of an eligible family.
A family must obtain care through a legal child care provider who is compliant with all applicable federal/state laws and requirements, and has a current payment agreement with DSS in order to access child care assistance.
Providers caring for more than four unrelated children are required to meet licensing standards set by Missouri Law and the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), or have license-exempt status by DHSS. Any child care provider who is not licensed and is caring for more than four unrelated children must be referred to the DHSS, Section for Child Care Regulation (SCCR) for review. A provider caring for more than 4 unrelated children who is not licensed, or determined to be license-exempt by DSS or DHSS, is not a legal provider. Any provider, who is not legal, is ineligible for payment from DSS, either by direct payment or reimbursement to the family.
Missouri State Law requires that anyone providing child care be licensed, or have an exemption granted, by DHSS, Section for Child Care Regulation or DSS. Legal providers in Missouri include:
- Licensed providers;
- Providers who are granted a license-exempt status by DHSS:
- Religious license-exempt providers who are in compliance with DHSS inspection requirements (RIC);
- School based providers (SCH);
- Summer Camps (SUM); and
- Business based providers (BUS).
- Providers determined license-exempt by DSS:
- Providers caring for four or less unrelated children (FOL);
- Military base providers under the jurisdiction of the federal government (MIL); and
- Child Care providers residing outside of Missouri (OPL & OPU). These providers may receive payment as long as they meet the child care regulations in their home state. (Refer to Out of State Providers in 1215.010.20).
Providers in categories 2 and 3 must register with DSS in order to receive direct payment from DSS or for an eligible family to be reimbursed. (Refer to Registration in 1215.020.00 and Health and Safety Certification 1215.025.00).