Skip to main content

Library: Policy

340:40-7-7. Establishing the need factor for child care

Revised 3-1-19

(a) Establishing the need factor.In order for children to be cared for in a safe environment while the parent or caretaker participates in an approved activity or for protective or preventive reasons, the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) provides subsidized child care benefits.

(1) The worker arranges to obtain documentation of the need factor from the client or collateral sources.  1

(2) The worker and client negotiate the amount of travel time allowed for an activity based on what is a reasonable length of time.   • 2

(3) The worker does not approve child care for the hours the child attends school or Head Start.

(b) Need factor for single parent or caretaker families.The need for subsidized child care is met when the:

(1) parent or caretaker is employed, per Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:40-7-8(a);

(2) parent or caretaker needs sleep time during the day after working night hours when a feasible alternative is used at no cost to DHS during the night working hours, per OAC 340:40-7-8(a)(5);

(3) parent or caretaker attends a training or formal education program designed to lead to employment, per OAC 340:40-7-8(b) and (c);

(4) parent or caretaker attends high school, high school equivalency classes, literacy, adult basic education (ABE), or English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, per OAC 340:40-7-8(c);

(5) parent or caretaker participates in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Education and Training (E&T) activities, per OAC 340:40-7-8(d);

(6) parent or caretaker participates in an approved Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Work activity, per OAC 340:10-2-1;  3

(7) child needs care or supervision for part of the day as a protective or preventive service, per OAC 340:40-7-8(f); or

(8) child receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and needs care for enrichment purposes, per OAC 340:40-7-8(g).

(c) Need factor for two-parent or two-caretaker families.Two-parent or two-caretaker families include two natural or adoptive parents, the natural parent and a stepparent, two grandparents, other relative married couples, or other non-relative married couples.When an unmarried couple applies, only the natural or adoptive parent must meet a need factor.  • 4The need for subsidized child care is met when:

(1) both parents or caretakers work during the same hours they request child care, per OAC 340:40-7-8(a);

(2) one or both parents or caretakers need sleep time during the day after working night hours when a feasible alternative is used at no cost to DHS during the night working hours, per OAC 340:40-7-8(a)(5).When both parents do not work night hours, one parent must work during the other parent's sleep time hours;

(3) one parent or caretaker attends a formal education or training program, per OAC 340:40-7-8(b) or (c) during the same hours the other parent or caretaker works per OAC 340:40-7-8(a);

(4) both parents or caretakers attend high school, per OAC 340:40-7-8(c);

(5) one parent or caretaker attends high school during the same hours the other parent or caretaker works or attends a formal education or post high school training program, per OAC 340:40-7-8(a) through (c);

(6) one parent or caretaker attends high school equivalency classes, literacy, ABE, or ESL classes, per OAC 340:40-7-8(c)(2) or (3) during the same hours the other parent or caretaker works, per OAC 340:40-7-8(a);  5

(7) one or both parents or caretakers participates in SNAP E&T activities per OAC 340:40-7-8(d).When one parent or caretaker is not participating in SNAP E&T activities, he or she must meet a need factor during the same hours, per OAC 340:40-7-8;

(8) one or both parents or caretakers participate in approved TANF Work activities, per OAC 340:10-2-1.When one parent or caretaker is not participating in TANF Work activities, that parent must meet a need factor, per OAC 340:40-7-8 during the same hours;  3

(9) the child needs care or supervision for part of the day as a protective or preventive service, per OAC 340:40-7-8(f);

(10) the child receives SSI and needs care for enrichment purposes, per OAC 340:40-7-8(g); or

(11) one parent or caretaker is incarcerated and the other parent remains in the home.In this instance, the parent remaining in the home is treated as a single parent.

(d) Need factor in joint custody cases.When parents are separated or divorced and share custody of their child, voluntarily or through a court order, each parent's income and need for child care is considered separately.    • 6

(e) Need factor for a child attending an Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership (EHS-CCP) grant program or an Oklahoma Early Childhood Program (OECP).A child attending an EHS-CC Partnership grant program or an OECP may be approved for a weekly unit type when the parent or caretaker qualifies for Child Care Subsidy and meets a need factor per (b) or (c) of this Section for some of the EHS-CC Partnership grant program or OECP care hours. 7

(f) Activities that do not meet the need factor for child care.The need factor for child care is not met and child care must not be approved for:

(1) job search for parents or caretakers not participating in TANF Work activities, per OAC 340:10-2-1;

(2) online Internet based or televised education or training courses when an instructor is not conducting a live broadcast and attendance is not required while the program is being broadcast, per OAC 340:40-7-8(b) and (c);

(3) undergraduate classes or other training not expected to lead to a degree or certificate of completion, per OAC 340:40-7-8(b) and (c);

(4) post graduate education, such as master's and doctoral programs; 8

(5) two-parent or two-caretaker families when both attend a formal education or training program during the same days and hours;

(6) transportation only;  9

(7) volunteer hours or jury duty;  10

(8) hours a school age child could attend a public or private school, but the parent or caretaker chooses to home school the child at night; and  • 11

(9) children in Child Welfare Services foster care, when one or both foster parents do not meet child care eligibility rules, per OAC 340:75-7-65. • 12 

Revised 3-1-19

1.Refer to Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:40-3-1 Instructions to Staff # 1 for instances when Child Welfare Services (CWS) staff must complete the child care application.

2.The amount of travel time approved varies depending on what is reasonable for the client.The worker asks the client how much time it takes to get to the work or training activity after dropping the child off at child care and then how long it takes to get from the work or training activity to the child care facility.When extra care is approved because the client must ride with another person whose schedule varies from the client or the client lives a long distance from his or her job, the worker documents the reason on the application or in Family Assistance/Client Services (FACS) Case Notes.

3.OAC 340:10-2-1 rules also apply to clients in sanctioned status participating in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)Work activities prior to the TANF benefit being reopened.Child care may be approved for two parents to attend training or formal education classes when training or education is the TANF Work activity on each TANF Work plan.

4.A client may choose an alternative to subsidized care unless that alternative is a spouse who does not meet a need factor, per OAC 340:40-5-1(4).

5.Child care is not approved for both parents to attend these classes at the same time.

6.Consider each parent's need factor as a single parent or caretaker family unless a stepparent is also present.

(1) When only one parent qualifies for subsidized child care, approve only the days and hours of care needed while that parent has physical custody of the child.

(2) When both parents qualify for subsidized child care, two separate cases are established and the need factor must be met by each parent during the time that parent has physical custody of the child.

(3) The maximum amount of child care in both cases combined is never more than 31 days per month.

(4) The weekly or blended unit type cannot be approved in either parent's case.

7.(a) When there is a joint custody arrangement and both parents are eligible for child care subsidy or the child needs care at two different child care providers, a weekly unit type is not approved.

(b) When another child not attending an Early Head Start – Child Care Partnership (EHS-CCP) grant program or an Oklahoma Early Childhood Program (OECP) is included in the household and receives child care, the child is only approved for care based on the days and hours the parent or caretaker meets the need factor, including travel time.

(c) Per OAC 340:40-7-12(7), household income is exempt when at least one child attends an EHS-CCP grant program or an OECP and the household meets the income eligibility threshold, per DHS Appendix C-4, Child Care Eligibility/Copayment Chart.Refer to Quest article "Early Head Start – CCP Grant Facilities" for a list of EHS-CCP grant programs.

8.The worker does not approve class hours for a master's or doctoral program unless they are a part of the client's TANF Work plan.Care may be approved during hours the student is employed.

9.Child care is never approved to transport a child to school when the parent or caretaker does not meet an allowable need factor during that time period.

10.(a) Volunteer hours required as part of a course or scholarship requirement may be approved, per OAC 340:40-7-8, Instructions to Staff # 12.

(b) Programs, such as AmeriCorps that provide a stipend for living expenses are considered volunteer programs.A stipend is not considered a wage and persons participating in these programs do not meet the employment need factor.

11.A school age child is defined as a child 4 years of age through 18 years of age.The worker does not approve child care for hours during the regular school day because school is a feasible alternative unless a:

(1) school age child with disabilities receives shortened-day services from the local school system.In this instance, the worker may approve child care for the hours the child is not in school; or

(2) child is suspended or expelled from school and the school system verifies there is no other educational alternative available to the child.

12.(a) CWS staff process child care applications made by foster parents.When a foster parent requests child care benefits from an Adult and Family Services worker, the foster parent is referred to the child welfare specialist assigned to the family.

(b) A foster parent must meet a need factor in order to be approved for child care subsidy benefits, per OAC 340:75-7-65.

Back to Top