Department of Human Services

Families First Online Policy Manual

Child Care




Table of Contents


In order to receive child care assistance, the child care must be necessary for the caretaker to participate in work activities.  Child care is not provided if the caretaker can arrange for free care or the children are in school during the hours the client will participate in work activities.  Child care assistance will not be given to a two-parent family (Unemployed Parent case, incapacity or married during receipt of assistance), if one parent is able, willing, and appropriate to provide care in the home.  Child care will not be given to a minor parent who is an EC if the caretaker of the AU can provide the care.


Child care eligibility and the eligibility end date must be reviewed during each contact between the client rep and the participant.  Bulletin 30, FA-11-19


Child care is available, if needed, on the first day of participation in an activity, employment or while the parent or caretaker attends FSC assessment.  Bulletin 29, FA-08-21


Child care is available for all eligible adults (even if they are disqualified) if they are in a work activity.  If the eligible adult is exempt from the work requirements, he/she may still be able to receive child care if he/she volunteers for a work activity or agrees to FSC assessment.   Bulletin 29, FA-08-21


Child care cannot be provided prior to the approval for Families First, except when the caretaker is participating in an activity during the required 5-day compliance period to cure a sanction.


Child care assistance will be terminated for Families First participants who are non-compliant with their Personal Responsibility Plan.


If the participant makes contact, either during the conciliation period or at a later date, and is determined to have had good cause for the non-compliance situation, or agrees to comply prior to the eligibility termination date, the caseworker/client rep will restart the child care.  Prior to restarting child care, the caseworker/client rep must determine that child care is still needed by the participant.  Child care will be restarted with no break in coverage if immediate child care is required in order to participate.  Otherwise, child care will be restarted effective with the date the individual has agreed to return to the activity.


If the participant fails to comply for the 5-day period, the child care will be terminated.


In the event the Families First case is being closed for cash benefits, and there is an open FF child care case, the child care case will be terminated effective with the date the adverse action period expires.


Exception: Families First participants, who are currently employed, will have a child care termination end date that corresponds with the effective date of case closure.


Child care will be provided for hours associated with the employment.  This will allow participants to continue to receive child care uninterrupted while they are moved to Transitional Child Care (TCC).


At the time of approval, child care can be provided back to the date of application for the time that the participant was working or was in an activity that would qualify as a PRP work activity.  The child care payments may be issued to the participant or the child care provider, as determined by the child care specialist.  Retroactive Families First child care will not be provided if:


·        The participant chose the child care disregard for the months in question.


·        The AU was eligible for TCC during the application period.


·        The AU was ineligible for cash payment, unless the individual was complying for 5 days to remove a sanction.


Child care will be provided, if needed, while a parent is in a drug/alcohol or mental health treatment program.


Child care will not be terminated when the caretaker is between work/training activities.  The provider will retain a child care “slot” for the child for thirty days.  If the break between activities will last more than thirty days, the child care should be terminated.


Retroactive cash reimbursement will be authorized to a caretaker who verifies he/she paid child care costs during a period of Families First eligibility and received no disregard and no direct payment was made to the provider by DHS during that time.  This reimbursement cannot exceed the State allowable rate for the type of child care provided.  The caretaker will be referred to the child care specialist to request the reimbursement.



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