Need Help with Paying for Child Care?

Child CareState child care assistance programs are funded through the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF). CCDF is a Federal program that assists low-income families, families receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and those transitioning from TANF in getting child care so they can work or attend training/education. Each State has its own eligibility guidelines. You may apply for child care assistance (sometimes called a “subsidy” or “voucher”) at a State or local agency.

You may receive assistance if you show that the following is true:

  • You need child care to work, attend school, or receive training;
  • Your income is not greater than the income limit set by your State;
  • Your child is younger than 13 years; and/or
  • Your child has a special need or is under court supervision and is younger than 19 years.

States have different ways to apply for help, including different forms to fill out and steps to follow.

The following are some examples of State requirements:

  • Some States require in-person applications, and others offer off-site application services, such as online, telephone, or mail options.
  • All States require families to pay a co-payment fee based on their family income. Some States waive the fee under special circumstances.
  • Some States require single parents to cooperate with child support enforcement regulations to be eligible for services.
  • Some States give assistance to grandparents and other relatives if they meet program requirements.
  • All States allow families to chose from a broad range of child care providers, including relatives, friends, or neighbors.
  • States require providers to meet basic health and safety requirements, but States vary in exactly what providers must do. Some require all child care providers to be licensed, while others exempt some providers, such as those serving children of relatives or those serving a very small number of children.
  • States pay providers based on a set rate that can vary by age of child, type of care, location, and other factors.
  • States have different systems for paying providers. Some States use paper checks, others use direct deposit, and others give parents debit cards that can be used to transfer the payment to the provider electronically.
  • States may require providers to sign a contract agreement before they can participate in the child care assistance program.

To learn more about your child care assistance program, contact your State child care agency.  Child care resource and referral (CCR&R) agencies sometimes have information about child care programs that have scholarships, special funding options, or sliding fee scales that are based on household income.

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  1. cathy says

    I am writing this for my step-daughter.. she has two children and works at walmart. she cant get help from the welfare office because they say she makes too much money. She no longer gets foodstamps.. She does not have the money for childcare and cant get the kids dad to pay any on his child support.. there is a warrent but they dont even go get him.She is also having to get payday loans to pay rent and utilities. the kids will be starting school on the 15th of this month but she still has to have someone watch them after school and on the days she works when they arent in school. She is lives in Missouri. She does not have the money to even pay her car payment. Im not what to tell her or how to help her we are 50 miles from her. She will loose her job if she ca have any suggestions?y for a sitter.anyone

  2. andrea says

    hi my name is andrea. i am the mother of the wonderful children and is looking for a job, but noone wants to hire me because i cant work nights and weekends. so if i get a job interview i have to pay a daycare 52 dollars just for a few hours a day to keep an eye on them cause i have no one else to help me. their dads wont help neither, and yes i saID DADS as in more then one and two, so don’t judge me. could care less if you did….but any ways what so i do about this little hiccup in my life…….

  3. Sydney says

    I am a single mother of a beautiful daughter and am going to school full time and have had babysitters hate me for not being able to afford much I do everything on my own no help from the state or her father and still am unable to receive help from Florida I am clean of all drugs and alcohol and am extremely responsible but being in school from 7a to 6p has limited out getting appointments for daycare even tho they keep pushing me aside and not helping at all I don’t understand how they can help people when the ones that extreme need it and bend backwards to do everything in their power get no help in return……

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