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.
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.” Discuss the “star” status of a facility as being an indicator the facility meets additional quality criteria. Provide the applicant some or all of the following forms to assist the family in choosing quality child care:
- DHS Pub. No. 01-18, “Look for the Stars When Choosing Child Care”
- DHS Pub. No. 98-09, “Oklahoma Child Care Resource & Referral Association, Inc. – Your Child Care Resource”,
- DHS Pub. No. 87-91, “Parent’s Guide to Selecting Quality Child Care”; and
- DHS Pub. No. 02-06, “Paying for Child Care Just Got Easier.”