Child Care Assistance
Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP)
The Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) assists families in paying for child care for children age 12 and younger, and children ages 13 and 14 who have special needs, so that parents can work, attend school, or search for a job.
A family's gross income must be at or below 47% of the State Median Income (SMI) at the time of initial application to qualify for the child care assistance funds.
- You may choose a licensed or unlicensed provider.
- You may choose more than one provider, although the amount of care authorized for a child cannot exceed 120 hours in a two-week period of time.
A licensed provider may be center-based, a family home provider, a nursery or preschool, or extended school day program.
- Think Small, available by calling 651-641-0332, can provide referrals for potential licensed centers and licensed family home providers.
- Parent Aware, Minnesota’s Quality Rating and Improvement System, can also provide helpful tips and information to help families find quality child care that fits an individual’s needs.
A non-licensed provider must be over the age of 18 and pass a background study check. There is a $100 fee to cover the cost of the background check. The fee and background study must be completed every two years.
Parent(s) is responsible to report all changes in family size, income, work schedules, address, school or job search hours, child custody arrangements, and health/dental insurance premiums within 10 days of the change. Failure to report changes may result in over-payments.
- Document the immigration or citizenship status of the children in your family.
- Cooperate with child support enforcement for all children in your household.
- Complete a child care re-determination packet at least every six months or less.
- Give your provider a two-week notice of changing care or terminating care.
- Notify county of care ending.
- Notify county of unpaid co-payments.
- Send in tuition and contract changes at least 10 days prior to the change. Increased tuition rates can be paid from the date that the county is notified in writing. Higher rates will not be paid retroactively.
- Send in payment vouchers within 60 days from the last day of the billing voucher cycle.
- Apply the same policies as for private pay families.
- Sign and submit a provider acknowledgement form before you are paid for services.
Notification to Parents and Providers
Parents and providers will be notified of any co-payment changes, authorization changes or termination from the program. Payment should not be expected after the end date of authorization or termination date.
Useful Forms and Documents for Families
- Change Report Form DHS-4794 (PDF)
- Client Statement of Good Cause (DHS-2338) PDF
- Do you have a disability? DHS-4133 (PDF)
- Employer Verification DHS-2146
- Medical Condition Documentation DHS-4602 (PDF)
- Notice of Privacy Practices DHS-3979 (PDF)
- Referral to Support and Collections DHS-3163B (PDF)
- School Verification DHS-2883 (PDF)
- Self-Employment Report Form DHS-3336 (PDF)
- Shelter Form DHS-2952
- Start Work EA-425 (PDF)
- Redetermination Form DHS-5274
Useful Forms and Documents for Child Care Providers
Minnesota law requires all childcare assistance payments to be paid directly to the childcare provider, either licensed or legal non-licensed, on behalf of the eligible family. Except in cases where a provider cares for children in the children's home, the childcare assistance payments must be paid directly to the parent.
Billing forms, paper or electronic, must be sent in for payment within 60 days of the last day of the billing cycle. The county may pay a bill submitted after 60 days if the provider can show that the billing form was not received in a timely manner due to agency or computer error. The county will issue payment within 21 days of receipt of the a complete billing form.
There may be some situations in which the county will not be able to authorize payments for care.
A biweekly co-payment (PDF) may be required. The amount that would be needed to pay would be based on income and household size. The co-pay would be paid by the family directly to the provider. Failure to pay the co-payment may result in termination of child care assistance.
There are maximum rates (PDF) that the county is able to pay for care. If the provider charges more than the maximum rate, the parent would be responsible to pay the difference.