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Household Composition Rules

The child needing child care is the key to building a Child Care household. Focus on the child who needs care and include those individuals who Policy instructs to include in the household.


Include any child who needs Child Care in the household. There are situations where you might separate the children who need Child Care into different cases for processing. This happens when you apply the rules relating to the pre-determined eligible, adoption, and caretaker income exclusions. The Handbook handles whether to create one or two cases here.

You must include any siblings of the child who needs Child Care in the household. Their inclusion does not depend on whether the applicant wants Child Care for these children. It does, however, matter whether they are living with the child or children needing child care. If they do not live with the applicant and child, exclude them from the household.


Include the child's parents when they live in the household. Include not only the child's biological or adoptive parent but also the child's step-parent.

There are two exceptions to this rule.

    1. Do not include the parents who have left the household and live separately from the other household members.

    2. You do not include both a biological and adoptive parent in a case when they live together. This sometimes occurs when a grandparent adopts his or her grandchild and the child’s mother or father returns to the home. If the biological and adopted parents live together, determine when the adoption becomes final. Prior to the adoption becoming final, include the biological parent or parents and exclude the adopted parent or parents. After it is final, include the adopted parent or parents and exclude the biological ones.

Remember: a minor parent is an adult not a child. Do not include his or her parents in the household when the minor parent is seeking care for his or her child.


Include caretakers when parents are absent. When parents are not in the household, identify who is caring for or acting as a parent(s) to the child. Child Care Policy refers to this person as "a caretaker."

You include caretakers in two types of situations.

    1. Include a caretaker when the parent lives somewhere else.

    2. You might also include a caretaker as an authorized representative who must meet the need factor when a parent is temporarily out of the household. Do not code the caretaker as a household member in FACS or consider them in the household size when looking at Child Care Eligibility /Copayment Chart (Appendix C-4) in this situation. 

A discussion of handling applications from caretakers is available here.


Adult Non-Relatives acting in the role of Spouse

Include a non-relative adult and his or her children when the adult non-relative and the parent or caretaker present themselves as a couple or acknowledge a physical relationship. This is when a non-relative is acting in the role of the spouse.


After completing this process, you have identified the people to include when coding FACS and to count when determining the household's income and family size on the Child Care Eligibility /Copayment Chart (Appendix C-4).

Policy covers Household composition and income consideration at 340:40-7-6. FACS coding instructions for the typical Child Care household are in the Handbook.

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