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Parents or caretakers may perform employment to meet the need requirement. Employment includes when the parent or caretaker works for wages or performs self-employment. Policy also includes when a parent or caretaker needs sleep time outside of employment under the employment need factor. FACS uses a different code for sleep time in FACS block K15, so the Handbook covers sleep time separately.  

Minimum Wage

Those working or performing self-employment must receive earnings equal to or greater than the federal minimum wage. Self-employment uses net earnings to determine compliance with this rule.

Exceptions to this requirement include:

  1. New self-employment businesses are exempt for the first year from the minimum wage requirement.
  1. Adoptive parents and caretakers who are not legally and financial responsible do not have to make minimum wage when employed.

Who may qualify?

You may approve two parents or caretakers per household to engage in work or self-employment. If only one parent or caretaker engages in employment in a two parent or two caretaker household, the other parent or caretaker must meet another approvable need factor during the same time.


Document the days and hours the client works in case notes and, if necessary, through verification.

Declaring a Schedule Parents or caretakers may declare their work schedule when they give us income verification.
  • When you accept their declaration, it keeps parents and legally responsible caretakers from having to provide additional verification of their need.
  • Caretakers who are not legally and financially responsible for the child may choose to verify their work schedule or provide income verification and declare their work schedule.
When the client declares a schedule, compare the client's income verification to the client's declared schedule.
  • Accept the client's declaration if the income verification supports their declaration.  
  • When the income verification conflicts with the declaration, seek clarification from the client or request additional verification.

Document the client's declared schedule—including any reasonable travel time—and how you verified the schedule in case notes.

Need Approved

Approve only the time the parent or caretaker needs to travel from the child care facility in the morning and to the child care facility after work. If there is more than one parent or caretaker in the household, approve only the days and hours when both are meeting an approvable need. When the client first starts a job, approve the maximum amount they may need. At renewal, approve the amount the client can expect to work going forward based on the client's records.

FACS K16 Coding Options

Code the need factor in the FACS dropdown box K16. Use either "for caretaker to retain employment" or "for caretaker to retain employment and obtain education." Video examples for coding the Auth Daycare tab and this block are available through Quest here and here. K16 is the reason field.

Example 1:

Quincy applies for Child Care for his 3-year-old daughter. He is working Monday through Wednesday 12:00 PM to 3:30 PM. You ask him how much travel time he needs to get from his child care provider to his job. He reports that he needs 25 minutes to travel from his child care provider to his job. How much time is he meeting the need factor? 

Quincy meets the employment need factor. After accounting for reasonable travel time, consider him to be meeting the need factor from 11:35 AM to 3:55 PM, three days per week. This is 4 hours and 20 minutes each Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Approve him for three full-time days of child care or a full-time 14.  

Example 2:

Bailey, aged 25, is caring for her younger sister Mattie, aged 3. Bailey reports she is caring for her sister because their mother left. They did not know their father. Bailey reports she is not legally and financially responsible for Mattie. She applies for Child Care and is selling vacuum cleaners. She just started, but she receives a percentage of what she sells as a commission. She received her first commission check yesterday. Her schedule is flexible, but she cannot work after 6 PM. She brought a letter from her employer stating successful salespersons normally work 30 to 40 hours per week. She intends to work from 9 AM to 3 PM, Monday through Friday. Should you approve her for Child Care?

Yes. She is an employed caretaker. Approve her based on when she plans to work.

Example 3:

Roderick, aged 30, and Elise, aged 27, are seeking Child Care for their two-year-old daughter Shiloh. Roderick works as a journeyman electrician. His hours are Monday through Friday, 6 AM to 4 PM. He requests 30 minutes of travel time. Elise drives a city bus from 11 AM to 2 PM, Thursday through Saturday. Elise takes a bus home and plans to walk to the daycare from the bus stop. Elise anticipates she will need 1 hour of travel time. What time are Roderick and Elise meeting the need factor?

Roderick and Elise meet the need factor when they are both engage in an approved activity. They both work. Their schedules overlap on Thursday and Friday from 10 AM to 3 PM. This time equals the time Elise needs to work and travel to work. Approve Shiloh's for two full-time days or a full-time 10.

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