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Government Child Care Assistance Programs

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Financial Assistance For Families

Gov. Pritzker expands childcare assistance program to essential workers

There are many programs available in your state or territory that provide financial assistance to eligible low-income families to help them pay for necessities such as food, nutrition, and heatjust to name a few. If you need help, take a look at these programs.

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program

LIHEAP is a federally funded program that helps low-income families with their home energy costs. LIHEAP provides eligible families with financial assistance and information to help them manage their home energy bills, energy emergencies, weatherproofing, and energy-related minor home repairs. You can apply for help at your local LIHEAP office.

To learn about and find LIHEAP services where you live, select your state or territory from the list on the See Your States Resources page, and then select the Financial Assistance for Families tab.

Special Supplemental Nutrition Program For Women Infants And Children

WIC is a federal nutrition program that helps low-income pregnant women, new mothers, and young children from birth through age 5 eat well, learn about nutrition, and stay healthy. Most WIC programs provide vouchers that moms can use at approved grocery stores. WIC also provides information on healthy eating, breastfeeding support, and health care referrals. You can apply for help at your local WIC office.

To learn about and find WIC services where you live, select your state or territory from the list on the See Your States Resources page, and then select the Financial Assistance for Families tab.

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Did You Know More Families Now Qualify

This table shows the maximum monthly income a household can earn to qualify for the program* .

Family Size

Up to $10,175

*This is an estimate. Other criteria may impact eligibility. Guidelines effective Feb. 1, 2022.

In most cases, families pay a co-payment, which goes towards the cost of care. A co-payment is determined on a sliding fee scale based on a family’s income and household size.

Paying For Child Care

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Need Help Paying For Child Care?

The Child Care Subsidy Program assists families in paying child care costs for children under age 13 who are not eligible to attend public school during the part of the day when public education is available, or children with special needs under age 18 who reside with the applicant. If you are eligible and are approved for services, the Subsidy Program can pay a portion of your child care costs directly to the child care provider.

Do you have a child age 0-5 who hasn’t started kindergarten? You may be eligible for financial assistance under new, increased income guidelines! Click either of the following links to learn more!

To be eligible for the Child Care Subsidy Program, you must:

  • Be a Virginia resident who is either:
  • Actively employed or engaged in a job search. Let your local department of social services know if you are searching for a job during your phone interview
  • Participating in an education or training program
  • Receiving child protective services
  • Participating in an assigned activity for the Virginia Initiative for Education and Work or
  • Participating in a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment and Training plan of participation.
  • Provide documentation of childs citizenship or legal residence in the United States.
  • Provide documentation of childs immunization requirements as outlined by the State Board of Health.
  • Application Process

    Two ways to apply for the Child Care Subsidy Program

    Finding Child Care

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    How Do I Apply For Child Care Assistance

    You may print and complete the Child Care Assistance Application below, request an application by contacting the local Program Eligibility Specialist or you may contact the Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education at 1-800-322-8176 and an application will be mailed to you.

    After you complete the application you may mail or return it to your local Program Eligibility Specialist or the address below:

    Arkansas Department of Human Services Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education P.O. Box 1437, Slot S145 Little Rock, AR 72203

    Apply For Military Child Care Fee Assistance

    If there is a waiting list for military child care, active duty service members may also be eligible to apply for child care fee assistance if they do not have access to on-base child care. This program allows military families to enroll in military-approved civilian child care providers and receive fee assistance to help with the cost of care.

    Select your branch of service below to learn more about its child care fee assistance program:

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    Native Hawaiian Native Alaskan And American Indian Programs

    • Tribal Child Care Financial Assistance: Many Tribes and Tribal organizations receive child care grants from the federal government to provide child care financial assistance to Tribal families. There are also more than 150 Head Start and Early Head Start programs that serve American Indian and Alaska Native children. Find these programs with the Head Start Center Locator.
    • Child Care Assistance for Indigenous People of Hawaii and other Pacific Islands child care and preschool programs: There are programs in Hawaii that assist with cost of child care and preschool for children of Indigenous People of Hawaii and other Pacific Islands. Families should contact PATCH for more information.

    Tax Credits And Support

    Gov. Walz pushes increased funding for child care assistance program

    Tax credits reduce the amount of tax you owe and may result in a tax refund. To claim tax credits, you need to meet certain requirements and file a tax return, even if you have no other filing requirement or owe no income tax.

    • Child and dependent care tax credit: This credit is available to people who had to pay for child care for their children so they could work or look for work.
    • Earned income tax credit: This tax credit helps low- to moderate-income workers and families get a tax break. If you qualify, you can use the credit to reduce the taxes you owe and possibly increase your refund.

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    Choosing Quality Child Care

    is one of the most important decisions youll ever make as a parent. Licensing is the first step in quality care. Quality child care impacts how children learn, think, develop and behave promotes social and emotional skills promotes self-esteem and confidence encourages curiosity and love of learning prepares children for school strengthens math and reading skills and increases probability of attending college.

    When you select a licensed care provider in Virginia, you are selecting a qualified professional in the field of early education with a commitment to providing a safe and healthy environment for children by demonstrating compliance with regulations.

    What is the difference between licensed versus unlicensed and unregistered care?

    Licensed child day care programs can be offered in a child day center or in a family day home. They have an initial inspection and two unannounced inspections per year. Additional inspections are conducted as a result of violations and/or complaints. They have requirements for background checks, education, training/orientation, and health and safety standards.

    Unlicensed and unregistered child day care programs do not have any of the following requirements or safeguards to protect vulnerable children: background checks, training/orientation, or health and safety requirements and only minimal Code of Virginia requirements apply.

    Who inspects early care and education programs?

    How do I find out about inspection reports or violations?

    How Is Child Care Provided For My Children

    Once a family is determined eligible for the Child Care Assistance Program, they must select a child care provider that is licensed or registered by the Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education. The provider must be an active participant in the Child Care Assistance Program.

    Families may contact the Program Eligibility Specialist to request a list of child care providers that participate in the Child Care Assistance Program or call 1-800-322-8176. Families may also use the Search for Child Care.

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    Child Nutrition Support Programs

    School and child care meal programs fight hunger and obesity by helping schools, child care centers, family child care programs, and afterschool programs provide healthy meals for children.

    • School meal programs provide low-cost or free nutritionally balanced meals to children each school day. School meal programs are available in public and nonprofit private schools. Speak with your childs school to see if your child may be eligible for free and reduced-cost meals during the school day.
    • The Child and Adult Care Food Program provides financial aid to help child care providers pay for nutritious foods that contribute to the wellness, growth, and healthy development of young children. Ask your child care program if it participates in this program and can provide free snacks and meals to your child.

    Am I Eligible For Child Care Assistance

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    Families must meet the following criteria:

  • Meet the established income guidelines
  • Each adult residing in the household must be employed at least 30 hour per week, or be enrolled and attending high school, college, GED classes, vocational school or a training program as a full time student. A combination of school and work is acceptable if the individual is involved at a minimum of 30 hours.
  • Have an eligible child. Our program serves children from birth through 12 years of age.
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    Texas Workforce Commission Meetings

    Stakeholders can learn about upcoming policy and funding decisions by virtually attending TWCs three-member Commission meetings, which also offer the public an opportunity to provide input during any of its posted public meetings. To view meetings, agendas and materials, visit TWC Commission.

    Additionally, the Commission works with staff to provide opportunities for:

    • child care and early learning stakeholders to offer input on the Child Care Services program
    • TEA, school districts, open-enrollment charter schools, relevant businesses, and the public to offer input on coordination between TWC’s Child Care Services program and pre-K
    • child care programs to offer input on existing health and safety regulations that could be more efficient or less costly without reducing health and safety outcomes and
    • child care programs to offer input on burdens relating to complying with existing Child Care Services program regulations that could be mitigated, reduced, or eliminated while maintaining the intent, objective, or purpose of the underlying regulation.

    TWC notifies stakeholders of opportunities to attend regional meetings and of other child care updates. Stakeholders interested in receiving updates should by entering your email address and selecting the child care topic areas of their interest.

    Stakeholders may also provide input to TWCs Child Care and Early Learning Division at any time at: .

    Children With Special Needs

    Children with special needs, as defined under the CCEYA, may require personalized attention and activities or special devices, toys and equipment.

    Special Needs Resourcing helps support the inclusion of children with special needs in licensed child care settings, in a premises where in-home services are provided, in a place where child and family programs are provided such as EarlyON Child and Family Centres, children’s recreation programs, and camps at no additional cost to parents.

    How it works

    The government provides funding to Consolidated Municipal Service Managers or District Social Services Administration Boards and First Nations for SNR. They then either directly hire persons providing SNR services and/or provide funding to agencies, to support the inclusion of children with special needs in licensed child care, -child and family programs, children’s recreation programs, and camps.

    Agencies use this funding to help pay for staff, equipment, supplies, and professional development activities.

    For more information, contact your CMSMs/DSSAB or band office administrator .

    School boards are responsible for providing supports to enable inclusion of children with special needs in board-operated before-and after-school programs.

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    Government Assistance Helped This Professional Single Mom Get On Her Feet

    I often struggle with this platform, where I speak primarily to women like me: Educated, professional single moms. The number of unmarried mothers is increasingly affluent and educated, as women gain power in business and earning. But the reality remains that about half of kids raised primarily by a single mom live in poverty .

    I don’t pretend that what I write about here speaks to every single one of the 10 million U.S. single moms, or financial challenges that I face as an educated white woman are the same as someone who grew up with the challenges of generational poverty. However, I often hear from women facing single motherhood and find themselves in financial straights very real, scary financial straights despite having had every perceived advantage, a fact that only adds to the shame and fear around their situation.

    A couple years ago I had this Facebook instant message conversation with Jennifer L.W. Fink, a single mom to four boys in Wisconsin. She separated five years ago and has been divorced for two. When she separated, Fink worked part-time as a freelance writer and homeschooled her children. She turned to public assistance.

    Today Fink makes a living as a full-time freelance writer. She blogs at Building Boys.

    But I also try to appreciate that I am a white, educated middle-class woman who had a career before I had kids and got divorced. No ignoring that.

    EJ: I agree 100 percent. But that isn’t our story now. So what do you suggest?

    EJ: Thats fantastic.

    For Parents And Caregivers

    Child care providers call for financial assistance from the government
    How much money can I receive?

    If eligible, you can have some or all of your child care costs paid for, depending on your circumstances. Click I Want Help Paying for Child Care below to learn more.

    What kind of providers can I use?

    You are free to choose a provider that meets your needs so long as they are licensed, registered or enrolled as a legally exempt provider. You can even ask a family friend or relative to enroll as a legally exempt provider.

    Is there a limit to how much money I can make and still be eligible?

    In most cases, currently you cannot make more than 300% of the State Income Standard to qualify.

    How do I apply?

    To learn how to apply and find out more, visit to the Help Paying for Child Care page.

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    Affordable Child Care Benefit

    New! Licensed and Registered Licence-Not-Required providers are invited to register for the My Family Services – Service Provider portal. Registered providers will be able to complete online Child Care Arrangement forms submitted by parents starting July 25.

    The Affordable Child Care Benefit is a monthly payment to help eligible families with the cost of child care. Factors like income, family size, and type of care determine how much support families can get. Families need to renew their application every year.

    Local Workforce Solutions Partners

    A Local Workforce Solutions Partner, also identified as a Local Workforce Development Board, is a group of community leaders appointed by local elected officials and charged with planning and oversight responsibilities for workforce programs and services in their area. Learn more about the 28 boards in Texas at Workforce Development Boards.

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    For Providers And Caretakers

    What does this program mean for me?

    If you provide care for families using the program, the LSSD will pay up to the cost of care, or up to the applicable market rate, whichever is less either by paying you directly, or by sending the money to the family to pay you. The family may be required to pay a portion.

    You may be eligible for enhanced or increased rates depending on your qualifications, ability to provide care during non-traditional hours, provide care to special needs children or other circumstances outlined in each LSSDs Child and Family Services Plan.

    Providers are eligible to be paid a minimum of 24 absences per year, but LSSDs may pay for more as outlined in their plan.

    Depending on what the LSSDs pay for in their plan, you may also be eligible for payment when the program is closed.

    Please see the Additional Resources section below for more information or view your LSSDs Child and Family Services Plan.

    Child Care Assistance Program & Head Start


    The Starting RIght Child Care Assistance Program program can subsidize the cost of child care for families that are residents of Rhode Island. CCAP is available for children who are US citizens or legal residents and under age 13. The age can be extended to 18 if the child has special needs.

    DHS also oversees the RI Head Start Collaboration Office. Head Start programs promote the school readiness of infants, toddlers, and preschool-aged children from low-income families. Services are provided in a variety of settings including centers, family child care and the own home of children. They also engage parents or other key family members in positive relationships, with a focus on family wellbeing, by participating in leadership roles and having a say in program operations. You do not have to have CCAP to qualify for Head Start.

    Find out more about these different programs and more resources below.

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    Apply For Child Care Assistance

    Submit the following to a local office:

    • Proof of identity for the applicant
    • Proof of U.S. Citizenship or Qualified Immigrant Status for all children needing care
    • Selected a DES Contracted Child Care Provider
    • As part of the application process, please select a DES-approved child care provider by calling 1-800-308-9000 or by visiting

    Submit the following verification of eligible activity documents to a local office:

  • If residing in a shelter, a completed Verification of Shelter Case Plan
  • If a teen parent, proof of school attendance
  • Submit the following additional verification documents to a local office:

    • Proof of unearned income, such as Social Security Income , Child Support, loans, etc.
    • Proof of relationship or guardianship when the applicant is not the parent of the children needing care.

    Effective July 1, 2022, individuals who are currently receiving full-time Child Care Assistance may submit documentation to waive work requirements while participating in a full-time education or employment training program. Eligible individuals can contact their local DES Office or Child Care Eligibility Specialist for additional information.

    When an Application for Child Care Assistance is not required:

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