Child Care Subsidy: UpdatedBest Practices

Application Screening

All applications should be screened for child care benefits on the date they are received in order to provide quick delivery of services to clients. Child care applications have the shortest processing deadline of all programs, which is two working days once the client has been interviewed and all verification is provided. An effort to contact your client for a phone interview should be attempted upon receipt of application. If you are unable to contact the client by phone, you will need to mail them a notice for a scheduled interview.


You will need to go over the Rights and Responsibilities and Voter Registration. You will determine the client’s need factor for child care during the interview and determine whether it is an allowable activity. Some examples of allowable activities are employment, training programs, or school.

Verification and Processing

Once a need factor is determined to be allowable, the next step is to request the necessary verifications. For instance, if the need for child care benefits is employment, the client must provide his or her pay stubs (or other pay information if pay stubs are unavailable) and declare his or her work schedule. Students must provide proof of enrollment and school schedule. The child care is approved effective the date all verification has been received. Refer to Appendix C-4, Child Care Eligibility /Copayment Chart to determine income eligibility, and if eligible, the amount of copay required.

School age children (who normally qualify for the blended rate) will continue to be approved with a weekly rate through September 2024. Only children who would normally be coded with the blended rate should be coded with the weekly rate. This does not include children who are only eligible for part-time care.

Case Changes

It is important to act quickly on all reported changes. Examples of these would include changes in the child care facility attended, household income, and work or class schedule.

Choosing Quality Child Care

Have a conversation with the applicant about choosing quality child care. Explain that when visiting each facility to ask to view the “licensing compliance file.” Additionally, explain that the applicant can visit the Child Care Locator website to view the licensing history and substantiated complaint summaries of a facility for the past 3 years.  Discuss the “star” status of a facility as being an indicator the facility meets additional quality criteria. Provide the applicant the following information to assist the family in choosing quality child care:

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