7600 - The Child Care Plan


Once a family has been determined eligible for child care subsidy benefits based on personal and financial need outlined in 2820 and 7440, a family plan must be established before any benefits can be issued. The family plan serves as agency authorization for benefits of child care services. It identifies the child, provider, hours of child care, expected DCF payment, effective dates and family share deduction. A copy of the plan is sent to the parent.


The authorized family plan begin date is based on the established date of eligibility, date of need for service, employment start date, training approval date, date of the Provider Agreement, and date the provider agrees to accept DCF benefits. The eligibility date and the family plan begin date may be two different dates.


The EES staff is responsible for informing the parent of the different types of provider care that may be purchased and how payments can be made to the provider. Staff may need to inquire whether or not there are special considerations to finding appropriate child care to meet the needs of the child. The following describe special types of benefits which may be requested by the client:


  1. An Enhanced Rate for Special care may be requested by the parent to assist in purchasing care for short or long-term care for a child with special needs. The Enhanced Rate rates may be paid to any provider type for the length of time care is necessary and approvable. Completion of the Request for Enhanced Rate for Special Care (ES-1627a) accompanied by a written statement from the child care provider and documentation of the child’s need is required.  Regional child care provider enrollment staff must approve all requests for the Enhanced Rate.

  2. Clients may request assistance with payment of enrollment fees. DCF can provide up to $50 per child (except children in foster care – see NOTE below) per case per year towards an enrollment fee to an approved provider if the provider charges an enrollment fee to the private sector. If the provider charges the private sector more and will not accept the maximum DCF benefit as full payment, the client will be responsible to pay the difference. DCF will subsidize no more than $50 per child for a 12 month period. If client chooses to change providers within a 12-month period, the client will be responsible to pay the additional enrollment fee, if necessary. The 12-month period begins with the month for which a benefit for enrollment fees is authorized, and may be different for each child on a child care case. The 12 month period does not follow the child if they move to a different child care household, and a new enrollment fee could be authorized on the new case.

    NOTE: For children in foster care, due to the potential for frequent changes in child care settings, there is no annual total dollar limit, but the amount authorized for each enrollment fee to assist in paying any child care provider for a particular child is limited to a maximum of $50 per year. Exceptions to that limit may be authorized at the discretion of the supervisor overseeing the work of Foster Care Child Care and must be documented.

A membership fee to an organization which entitles the member to other benefits in addition to child care shall not be considered an enrollment fee.


Benefits to the provider for enrollment fees should be made the first payment period after the child is enrolled.


Enrollment fee benefits are added to Child Care Plans. See 10260.


NOTE: Transportation fees for child care are not subsidized by DCF. If the provider charges the private sector for transportation, DCF clients may also be charged.


Child care and family plans are developed on a case-by-case basis depending on the needs of the parent and the child. A maximum of 240 hours per month is a suggested guideline for child care plans, but additional hours may be authorized on a case-by-case basis with supervisory approval The system requires supervisory approval before any benefits may be issued for more than 240 hours per month.


Child care plans using Relative providers shall not be approved for more than 215 hours per month. For travel time, 30 minutes each way is suggested as a maximum. If more time is requested EES staff should evaluate the request based on distance, traffic patterns, type of transportation, number of providers and other relevant factors.


Child care and family plans shall not be written for a provider who is a member of the same case or physical household as the recipient of child care services. Providers may apply for child care for their own children but care cannot be paid to their facility if they are the owner. A plan cannot be established until the provider is approved and entered into the system.