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Child Care Assistance Program
Qualifying families eligible for help
It is important to know that your child is well cared for while you are at work or going to school. One of the most important decisions you will ever make as a parent or guardian is choosing quality, affordable child care. Children are special and unique and deserve the best start possible so that they are ready to learn when they enter school.
The Child Care Assistance Program can help families pay child care costs for children through age 12, and for children with special needs through age 14. Child care costs may be paid for qualifying families while they go to work, look for work or attend school. To qualify for CCAP, families must comply with child support enforcement if applicable for all children in the family. Care must be provided by a legal child care provider over the age of 18. An annual summary of statistical information about families and children participating in CCAP is available in the Child Care Assistance Program Family Profile (PDF).
Family size, family income and participation in authorized activities are considered. The amount of available funding also may be a factor. In some Minnesota counties there is a waiting list (PDF) for access to day care under the Basic Sliding Fee program.
There are maximum reimbursement amounts for child care providers who serve families participating in CCAP. Maximum reimbursement rates vary by the type and location of the provider and the age of the child. CCAP can reimburse providers up to applicable CCAP maximum rates, not to exceed the provider charge. Providers with certain accreditations or credentials are eligible to be reimbursed up to the CCAP maximum rates with accreditation/credential differential, not to exceed the provider charge. Counties are advised to use these copayment schedules.
Applying for Child Care Assistance Program
Minnesotans in need of child care assistance should contact their county human services office to apply for the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP). To find out more information about CCAP, see the brochure, Do you need help paying for child care?
There are three ways for families to apply for the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP):
Results of 2011 market rate survey available
The Minnesota Department of Human Services conducts a statewide survey of the rates charged by licensed family child care and licensed center child care providers. This market rate survey, Results of the 2011 Child Care Market Rate Survey: Minnesota Child Care Provider Business Update, is used to inform the setting of maximum subsidy rates in the Child Care Assistance Program. The previous issue of this same report is also available here: Results of the 2010 Child Care Market Rate Survey.
Help with child care services available for some military families
Some families receiving CCAP (Child Care Assistance Program) with a parent who is an active duty soldier in the National Guard or the Army Reserve may be eligible for additional fee assistance from the U.S. Army, which offers child care assistance to families who do not live on or near a base. Further information about this option for eligible Army families is available by calling Minnesota’s Child Care Resource and Referral Information Line at (888) 291-9811, or by visiting www.mnchildcare.org. Minnesota has one of the largest deployed National Guard and Army Reserve soldiers in the country, according to the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA). In Minnesota there are currently more than 5,000 children of military families between the ages of 0-5 and almost 5,500 children between ages 6-12 of military parents.
Child Care Assistance Program manual now available
The Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) Policy Manual is used by county and contracted agency child care workers to serve families in the program. The manual, with information on policies, procedures, rules and statutes of CCAP, provides workers with the information they need to help families in the program so they can become employed and self-sufficient. A copy of the manual is available on the department’s website.
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