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Child Care for Parents

Overview

Allen County Job and Family Services publicly funded child care partially covers the cost of child care for eligible low to moderate income families.

Caretakers (parents) can choose from nearly 1,500 providers and centers to find one that meets their specific needs. Providers are required to meet health, safety and training standards, ensuring parents and caregivers have access to safe, quality child care while they are in work or school.

Ultimately, Child Care helps ensure children are safe while parents work toward financial stability.

Do I Qualify?

Eligibility is based on gross income and family size. To be eligible:

  • Caretakers (parents) must be working or in an approved work activity.
  • Children must be under the age of 13, or if they have special needs, under the age of 18.
  • Children must meet citizenship requirements.
  • Other eligibility factors.

Resources

Find a Child Care Provider

Currently there are three types of providers: child care centers, type A homes and type B homes.

Allen County Child Care Services does not select a provider, you must choose the child care provider that will meet your needs.

Search Child Care Providers

The following information will help you determine the difference between each category of provider.

Child Care Centers

Child Care Centers are licensed by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. A child care center is licensed to care for more than 12 children at a time.

Family Child Care Home Providers

Type A and Type B Family Child Care homes are licensed by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services based on a recommendation and inspections conducted by Allen County Job and Family Services. A Type B child care home is a private residence licensed to care for up to six children. A Type A child care home is a private residence licensed to care for up to 12 children.

Search by Quality

The Ohio Department of Education and Job and Family Services ranks some child care programs by quality. Providers have the opportunity to earn up to five stars, which is the highest ranking a provider can earn.

For additional help deciding between different types of child care providers, review How to Choose a Child Care Provider.

Determine Eligibility & Income Guidelines

Allen County’s Child Care Services program helps eligible low income working parents find and pay for child care. The income requirements are explained below.

Who is eligible for the Child Care Program?

There are five major eligibility requirements:

  • You must be working or be in an approved work activity.
  • You must have physical custody of your child.
  • Only children under the age of 13 qualify for publicly funded child care (unless the child does not function according to age appropriate expectations and special needs are verified by a medical doctor).
  • Citizenship must be verified for each child that needs care.
  • Your initial gross monthly household income for your family size must be equal or less than 130% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).
  • Your gross monthly household income for your family size must be equal or less than 300% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) to maintain your eligibility for service.

What does gross monthly Household Income Mean?

Gross monthly household income means your total income before taxes. That includes your paycheck, child support, cash assistance, social security, disability, etc.

What is 130% or 300% of the Federal Poverty Level?

Below is a chart that lists what 130% and 300% of the Federal Poverty Level is for your family size. To use the chart, first find your family size. (For more information on how to determine family size see Paying for Child Care) If your gross monthly income is equal to or less than the income listed for your family size, then you are probably eligible for the child care program. Final eligibility can only be determined by completing an application.

Paying for Child Care

Your provider receives payment from two sources:

1. Publicly Funded Child Care

Your child’s attendance will be recorded through the Ohio TAP (Time & Attendance Payment) and your provider will be paid accordingly.

2. Your Co-payments

Families are required to pay a family co-payment as part of their eligibility for child care; the amount you pay is based on your monthly gross income and family size.

Once you are approved for child care, you and your provider will receive a notice of your weekly co-payment. This weekly fee may be assigned to a particular child or to all children. Providers may collect the fee on a weekly or monthly basis. You should request a receipt for your fees. If you do not pay the fee on time, the provider can refuse to care for your children and your child care case can be closed.

Your fee is determined by using the Child Care fee table. The fee table is here solely as a guide. Because calculating your gross monthly income and your family size can be complicated, what you actually pay will be determined by a Consumer Specialist.

Gross Monthly Income

Keep in mind that gross monthly income means your total income each month before taxes. That includes your paycheck, child support, cash assistance, social security, disability, etc.

Family Size

Typically, family size includes the number of children living in your home plus:

  • The biological parent(s), or
  • The caretaker/legal guardian, or
  • The foster parents

Do not include additional adults in the household who are not caretakers or parents.

Determining who is included in family size can be complicated. It is in your best interest to review all your household members with ACJFS Child Care Services.

State Hearings

If you disagree with any action on your case or if you believe ACJFS has not taken an action it should have, you may request a hearing by phoning the ODJFS Consumer Access Line at 1-866-635-3748 or by emailing your request to [email protected] or contact Allen County directly at (419) 228-2621 or [email protected].

To find out more about state hearings, please review the state hearing section of the ODJFS Program Enrollment and Benefit Information document.

Results