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Oklahoma Children Experiencing Homelessness Plan - Draft

Child Care Subsidy, DHS Adult and Family Services, allows a homeless family to receive child care benefits if they are meeting a need factor (work, school, or training).

  • When the family is unable to provide proof of employment due to circumstances out of their control, and will lose their job or will be unable to start a new job without immediate child care, employment verification may be waived for 30 days to give the family time to provide the required verification. 
  • When the parent has not received a full paycheck at the time of application, the copayment is waived until the first of the month following receipt of a full paycheck. 
  • Families with parents or caregivers that work or attend school full time (over 4 hours a day) may qualify for care that includes absent day payments.
  • Families with incomes below $850 a month do not have a copayment.
  • Verification of immunizations, health records or proof of residency is not required for the Child Care Subsidy program.  (Child Care Services Licensing and the Oklahoma Health Department will allow 30 days for immunization records to be provided.) 
  • Homeless families may qualify for protective/preventive child care if they receive counseling or drug rehabilitation services through a homeless shelter in which they reside. 
  • All applications for child care are processed at the time of the application. 
  • Families receiving subsidized child care may choose a provider who participates in the Stars program at a higher quality level.

Child Care Services will provide or facilitate professional development for providers that is related to working with families who are homeless.  This training will feature consistency in content through Bridges out of Poverty, educators from the Center for Early Childhood Professional Development, and trainings for public schools and Head Start/Early Head Start collaborations.  Professional development related to homelessness will be available to Early Head Start/Child Care Collaboration grantees and will be made available to child care professionals as space is available.

Action steps:

  1. ACF Early Childhood Self-Assessment Tool for Family Shelters will be distributed to all family shelters within Oklahoma. The assessments will be distributed by collaboration workgroup members and Child Care Resource and Referral staff and/or Child Care Licensing staff. 
    1. Training on using the Self-Assessment will be provided
    2. Child care subsidy information and CCR&R brochures related to locating quality child care will also be distributed to all family shelters in Oklahoma.  A brochure is also available describing the application process and eligibility requirements that could be distributed in areas of potential need for child care
  2. As CCR&R and licensing staff deliver the Self-Assessment Tools, they will collect information about the facility:
    1. Do they have children 0-5 in the shelter and/or school-age children on out-of-school days?
    2. What services do they offer children?  Ex: Child care (licensed or license-exempt) in the shelter; transportation to a school, community Early Head Start/Head Start or licensed/licensed-exempt local Child Care Center or Family Child Care Home?
    3. Are Health or Mental Health services such as, developmental screenings, physical health including immunizations, vision, hearing and dental checks available for the family or children staying in the shelter?
    4. Does the shelter have a transition plan to relocate families into more appropriate housing?
    5. Is there a need expressed related to families and young children that is not currently available in their facility?
  3. Distribute the Child Care & Early Education Research Connections: Early Care and Education Supports for Young Children Experiencing Homelessness, July 2015, to workgroup members for use within their own agencies/organizations.
  4. Professional development opportunities related to working with homeless families and children will be added to statewide training calendar on the Center for Early Childhood Professional Development, Oklahoma Professional Development Registry website,
  5. Internal and external partners will be consulted in additional way to be supportive of children and families experiencing homelessness.
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