Block Grant child care allows a household to qualify for child care assistance if that household has a "special need".  This could be due to incapacitation of the adult household member or other circumstances involving the family unit.  Policy is being revised to clear up confusion surrounding the use of "special needs child care" for eligible households and the definition of a "child with a special need".

Households may qualify for child care assistance if the household has an extraordinary circumstance.  Children with a special need may require enhanced care over and above that of a typically developing child.

Households with extraordinary circumstances:

Eligibility for child care assistance due to an extraordinary circumstance of the household consists of the following:

  • Incapacitation of a parent requiring a physician's or psychologist's statement addressing the nature of the incapacity, its anticipated duration, and the hours child care is needed.

  • Protective Services Indicated (safe keeping) cases where a household may be working with Children's Services, but not receiving child care assistance through the Children's Services program.
Households approved for child care assistance due to extraordinary circumstances have the sliding fee waived for all authorized children.

Child with Special Needs:

When an individual child's authorization for child care services is entered, the "special needs" indicator is marked "yes" only when the child being authorized has a special need.  This is done on the "Individual Authorization" screen in Legacy and on the FMRB screen in the FAMIS system.  A child with a special need is defined as one who is under age 18 or under age 19 but still in high school and who:

  • receives Foster Care payments through DSS;
  • receives Adoption Subsidy payments through DSS;
  • is under court ordered supervision;
  • is active on a Grandparents as Foster Parents case;
  • has a physical or mental incapacity;
  • is eligible for and receiving services under DMH;
  • receives SSI; or
  • is active in Children's Service Protective Service system.
Verification of the special need is required accompanied by a physician's statement, statement from the Children's Services worker, or copy of the court order.

This verification may include:

  • specific disability information and characteristics, diagnosed developmental disability, health or medical condition due to disability, behavioral or emotional issues, learning disability, or developmental delays;
  • participation in special education (Early Childhood Special Education, or Special Education), early intervention (First Steps), or other special service programs administered through Department of Elementary and Secondary Education;
  • adaptation or modification of curriculum or environment; or
  • special medical or health care training needed to provide care to a child.
The Division of Family Services has implemented a twenty-five percent (25%) rate increase for child care providers who care for children with special needs.  This rate increase was automated for Income Maintenance cases effective with the second payroll in February, 2000.

Effective with a service date of April 1, 2000, all adoption subsidy and protective service children receiving child care will be eligible for the 25% special needs increase.  Data Processing has automatically populated the special needs field on the SEAS authorization and no action will be necessary from field staff for current or future authorizations.  If payment is required via a CS-65, the special needs increase will automatically be added and will not need to be entered as a separate line.  This increase in payment will show up on the first CSIPS payroll in May.  Staff will see payment for the service code of SPND for the vendor.

Only those active authorized children with a special need are eligible for an increase in payment to the child care provider.  A child with a special need has their sliding fee waived.  Other children authorized in the same eligibility unit are subject to the sliding fee.

A child with special needs who functions at an age below the chronological age is eligible for payment at the functional age in addition to this increase.  The appropriate functional age indicator must be placed in the "functional age" field, and the service code must correspond to this functional age in Legacy.  The appropriate functional age code must be placed in the functional age column of the FMAC screen in FAMIS.

  • Review this memorandum with all appropriate staff.

  • Make appropriate changes to individual authorizations as necessary.
  • DC/JR
    IM Distribution #6
    CS Distribution A

    [ Memorandum Table of Contents ]