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Choosing a Provider

Prior to approving care, the client chooses an eligible provider. You may use the Child Care Locator to see which providers are available.

Document the client’s chosen provider on the application or renewal form, in case notes, and in the Contract Number field (IMS K40) in FACS when certifying or denying care. There are three types of providers the client may choose: a child care center, a child care home, or an in-home provider.

The following rules govern which provider the client may use.

All Providers

All providers must have a valid contract with DHS to accept Child Care Subsidy and must allow parental access during the hours the provider cares for children. No provider may receive payment during school hours for a school age child who could be attending school.

Child Care Center

When choosing a child care center, the client may not choose

  • a center in which the client, his or her spouse, or the child’s parent or step-parent has an ownership interest;
  • a center, other than EHS-CCP or OECP programs, operating a program receiving state or federal funds (such as Head Start, Early Head start, or a public school) that does not charge all parents for the hours subsidy are needed; or 
  • an one-star center unless
  1. there are no centers with a higher star status in the community or
  2. the household meets special exemption criteria:

  • the child began attending the center and receiving Child Care Subsidy at the center before it became a one-star center,
  • a child lives in the same household as a child who already receives Child Care Subsidy to attend the one-star center,
  • no other child care option meets the child’s needs.
  • ​One-star center at initial application ​When the household reports no other care option meet’s the child’s needs, print a list of the 1+ star centers in the client’s area. The client must call each of these centers and document why each is not usable. When the client returns this completed list, image the list, document in the FACS case notes the exception to the one-star rule, and email Child Care Subsidy for approval.
    ​One-star center at renewal Once approved for a one-star center, the child may continue to use this center unless the child does not attend for more than 30 calendar days. After a 30 day break, you may not approve the child to attend the one-star center unless the break was due to a school break or circumstances beyond the family’s control.

    Child Care Home

    When choosing a child care home, the client may not choose

    • a home where the child lives or
    • a home where the client works during the hours his or her child is in care.

    The client may choose a family child care home regardless of the star level. A family choosing a one-star home does have to prove there are no other higher ranked providers or meet special exemption criteria.

    In-home Provider

    When choosing an in-home provider, the client may only choose one of the child’s relatives to serve as the in-home provider. Relatives mean an aunt, uncle, grandparent, great grandparent, or sibling who does not live in the home.

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