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Who can apply?

The person applying for Child Care must be the person who lives with and is responsible for the child needing child care or that person’s authorized representative.

The applicant may be:

  • a natural or biological parent,
  • a step-parent,
  • an adoptive parent,
  • a caretaker acting in role of a parent
  • a responsible adult who lives with a minor parent
  • a responsible person who lives with an incapacitated parent and provides professional documentation of the parent’s incapacity, and
  • a person designated in writing to act as a representative of a qualifying applicant.

Living with the child
Except for authorized representatives, every person who can apply for Child Care must live with the child who needs Child Care. This requirement allows only temporary absences from the household. If the absence is not temporary, then a new applicant must apply for that child.

People who are not Qualified Applicants
If someone else applies for Child Care Subsidy, deny the application and explain to the person who needs to make the application.

Resolving Conflicts
There are times when there may appear to be more than one possible applicant living with the child.

It is important, however, to remember:

  • a caretaker cannot serve in the role of a parent when a parent resides in the home, and
  • a biological parent living in the household is the applicant unless there is a finalized adoption decree. When there is a finalized decree, then the adoptive parent is the applicant.

Example 1:

Megan is a sixteen-year-old single mother with a one-year-old daughter Kelly. Megan’s mother left Megan with her grandmother, Susan, when Megan was 14. While Megan is attends high school, Susan cares for Kelly. Susan, however, would like to begin working to supplement her income. Susan comes to the county office. Can she apply for child care for Kelly?

Yes. Megan is a minor parent, and Susan is a responsible adult living with her. Susan can apply on Megan’s behalf, but you must determine eligibility based on Megan’s situation, not Susan’s.

Example 2:

Corey and his wife, Sarah, have separated. Corey had been taking care of the children while Sarah worked, but now that they have separated, he needs to support himself and his two children. The children are ages 4 and 7, and they are both living with him at this time. He is scheduled to start a job at the local milk processing factory, but he is having trouble arranging for the children’s care while he works. He applies seeking child care assistance. Is he an applicant the program can assist?

Yes. Corey is the biological father of both children, and the children live with him.

Example 3:

Renee and Leroy are often required to watch their grandchildren after school. Their daughter, Natalie, is 25 and cannot leave her job as a call center representative to pick her children up after school. Renee and Leroy enjoy watching their grandchildren occasionally, but they are having difficulty caring for a 3rd and 5th grader at their age. Natalie picks the children up from Renee and Leroy’s after work. They have spoken to Natalie, but she does not really have time to take off work to make other arrangements at this time. They come to the county office to apply for child care. Can we accept an application from Renee and Leroy?

No. Neither Renee nor Leroy qualifies as an applicant. They cannot submit a qualifying application for child care assistance. Renee and Leroy are only caring for the children temporarily, not living with the children permanently, and the children’s mother is still living with the children. As caretakers, they would not be eligible to apply until the parents were no longer living with the children. Additionally, they cannot apply on Natalie’s behalf. She is neither is a minor nor incapacitated. There are, however, options that we should provide Renee and Leroy. Advise them Natalie can apply online or, if Natalie is willing, they could serve as her authorized representative.

The Policy covers this topic at 340:40-3-1(a)(2).

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