One of the primary tasks to be completed during the childcare application process is to determine which household members must be included on the case. Three types of possible household members need to be considered.
- All natural, adoptive, or step-parents must be included in the household. Parents who are temporarily absent from the home must be considered household members if they plan on returning to the home.
- If a child is left with a caretaker who is not the natural, adoptive, or step-parent, they are not considered household members, unless there is a court order which states they are “legally and financially responsible” for the child. The court order must specifically state this in order for their income to count in determining eligibility. The caretaker does not have to have a legal or blood relationship to be considered a caretaker for child care.
In situations where an individual has legal guardianship of a child and the biological parent resides in the same household, the legal guardian may not apply for child care. When a parent resides in the same home as their child, the parent must apply for and be determined eligible in order to receive child care assistance. The caretaker/guardian is not included in the child care household
- All children in the household through 17 years of age must have their income included on the case. Exception: When a minor child is employed; his or her income does not count if he or she is attending school regularly. In addition, minor parents and their children are considered their own households – any income of the minor parent’s siblings is not considered. Note: When a client requests a new child be added to the child care benefit in the middle of an eligibility period, no new application is required as long as the requested child is a required member of the child care household (sibling to other child(ren)). When a client requests care for a child who is not a required member of the current child care household (ex: niece, nephew, or grandchild) a new application is required.
Reminder: All siblings, whether full or half siblings, cannot be separated from each other for household composition. As a result, all household members including unmarried parents with children in common must be included as a single family unit for both income consideration and need. The recent removal of Adult Non-Relative Individuals (ANRI) from policy does not impact this.