black_familyGood news! More families are eligible for child care assistance as of July 1, 2015.

As part of the restoration of the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) cuts, income eligibility for Child Care Assistance has increased to include more working families. Now, once again, families making up to 150 percent of the federal poverty level (up from 140 percent last fiscal year) are eligible, and families can make up to 165 percent of the federal poverty level when reverifying eligibility each year. This restoration of eligibility will make it possible for more parents to work and contribute to their local economies. It also means that more children can benefit from safe, high quality early learning environments that child care centers can provide.

We celebrate this important milestone for low-income working families and children in Kentucky. We also recognize that more work is needed to ensure the availability of high-quality child care in our Commonwealth. First, the Child Care Assistance Program should cover more low-income, working families by increasing eligibility to 200 percent of the federal poverty level – the level research tells us families need to achieve self-sufficiency. Secondly, we need to ensure families have a greater range of good child care options by making CCAP provider payments more like those in the private market. This includes increasing reimbursement rates for child care providers, reimbursing them based on enrollment instead of attendance, and ensuring 12-month continuous contracts. These changes will ensure child care providers are willing to serve families receiving child care assistance and can make the business investments needed to support a high-quality learning environment for children. Finally, collaborative efforts between local school systems and early childhood providers offer a cost-effective approach to delivering preschool services at high-quality child care centers.

According to the Department for Community Based Services’ Division of Child Care, parents or guardians can apply for Child Care Assistance at their local CCAP office from 8:00 AM-4:30 PM, or they can mail or fax a printable application to their local office. Families can also apply online, which may be a faster option. Click here to apply online!

If you plan to apply in person, make sure you know what to take with you. Review the CCAP Application Checklist to find out what documents you need to apply.

Please call the Child Care Council at 1-800-809-7076 with any questions.