The steps in the process for applying for financial assistance are:
- Find out if your family appears to be eligible.
- Select a DOE-funded child care program. It is recommended that you visit the program, to help decide if the setting is right for your child.
- Collect and complete the necessary documents, including an application.
- Documentation such as proof of identity, address, and income are required.
- Go to the DOE-funded child care program you’ve selected, to review and submit your application.
- The application should be submitted at the DOE-funded child care program you’ve selected. The child care program will forward your application to DOE. Parents should not mail applications directly to DOE.
- DOE will review the application forwarded by the child care center and make a decision about your family’s eligibility for financial aid.
- If DOE determines that your family is eligible, information on enrollment and about your part of the fee will be mailed to you. There will be instructions to call the child care program you selected to schedule an orientation session.
If DOE determines that your family is not eligible for financial assistance, an explanation will be mailed to you.
One Application for Each Family
When you apply for financial assistance for child care, you are applying to see if your family is eligible. You only need to submit one application, even if you need child care for several children. You should include all children on the one application, and bring the application to the child care center or network you have selected. The center will submit the application to DOE for you. (Do not mail your application directly to DOE.)
Even if you have selected a different child care center for each child, you still need only one application. Include all of your children on the application, and bring it to one of the centers you’ve chosen. That center will submit the application to DOE for you. You should then notify the other center you have chosen for your other child or children that you have submitted the application to the first center.
Timeframe for Eligibility Decision
After you submit your application to the DOE-funded child care program you selected, that program will then forward your application to DOE. DOE will review the application to determine if your family is eligible for financial assistance.
The DOE usually makes a decision within 15 days after receiving the application from the child care program. Anticipate longer than normal response times related to COVID-19 restrictions. You will be notified of the decision by mail.
Child with Special Needs
The application process, as well as eligibility requirements for financial assistance, are the same for a child with a developmental or physical disability as they are for other children.
Because of limited funding, vouchers for non-DOE programs are currently only issued to eligible families receiving Public Assistance. Families who receive Special Child Care Funding are not eligible for Special Needs Rate.