Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Child Care Resource Series: Child Care Works

What is it?
Child Care Works provides assistance to families for child care. The program pays most of your child care expenses at whatever qualified child care facility you choose. It covers children up to 13 years-old; if children are disabled, they can be covered to age 18.

Do I qualify?
The following are the basic guidelines:
• You must live in Pennsylvania
• Have a child or children who need child care while you work or attend an education program
• Meet income guidelines for your family size

• Work 20 or more hours a week - or-
• Work 10 hours and go to school or train for 10 hours a week
• Have a promise of a job that will start within 30 days of your application for subsidized child care
• Teen parents must attend an education program
• The child who needs care must be a citizen of the United States or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residency
• Have proof of identification for each parent or caretaker in the home.
• Children are eligible for care from birth until the day prior to the date of the child's 13th birthday. Children with disabilities may be eligible through age 18.
• The parent is responsible to help pay for child care. This is called co-payment. The co-payment may be as little as $5.00 per week and varies according to your income and the number of people in your family.
• The parent may choose the provider of his or her choice. The parent may choose a child care center, a small family day care home, a group day care home or even a relative or neighbor to care for his or her child.
• The parent who is receiving subsidy must choose an eligible child care provider. Relative/Neighbor providers must complete an Agreement with the CCIS, must comply with the participation requirements listed in the Agreement and must complete CareCheck in order to be eligible to participate in the Subsidized Child Care Program. CareCheck is the Department of Public Welfare's program that requires background clearances (see below).
• If funding is not available at the time that a low-income, working parent applies for subsidized child care, the child may be placed on a waiting list.

How do I apply?
To apply, you can use the COMPASS system or call your local Child Care Information Services (CCIS). The number can be found in the County Help Chart.

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