Section B Understanding Client Eligibility
The Child Care Subsidy program helps families afford the cost of child care.
The parent, guardian, or caretaker applies for child care benefits by contacting the local DHS office or applying online at www.OKDHSLive.org.
However, before a decision can be made, the person must:
- complete an interview, in person or over the phone;
- provide all verification necessary and
- provide the contract number of the child care program wishes they wish to use.
The client will be issued an EBT card. The client can also request DHS issue a card to one authorized representative.
Replacement cards can be made at any DHS office.
If eligible, child care benefits will be approved beginning with the date the interview is completed and all necessary proof is received.
Choice of provider
Clients approved to receive subsidy may select any DHS-contracted child care home or center that best meets the needs of the family with certain exceptions. Care can only be approved at one location (contract number) per day. The client CANNOT choose a child care:
- facility in which he or she or his or her spouse, including the child’s parent or stepparent has an ownership interest;
- home in which the child resides;
- home in which the client works during the hours child care is requested
- provider who is receiving state or federal funds, such as Head Start, Pre-K, 21st Century Learning Grant, or public or private schools unless all parents are charged for the cost of care for the hours subsidy payment is requested and the program offers extended day services. Programs operating only during typical school or Head Start hours are not eligible;
- provider caring for a school age child during the regular school day when such student could be attending a public or private school during those hours; or
- center which is a one star facility unless there is no two, three, four, or five star center in the community or one of the special exception criteria are met. Special exception criteria are:
- the child was already approved for care at this one star center prior to the stars reduction;
- care is requested for a child living in the same home as the child already approved for care in this same one star center; or
- the client demonstrates that they do not have another child care option that meets the family’s needs and prior approval is given by DHS.
It is the responsibility of applicants to provide all information necessary to make an eligibility determination. The request may be denied if all necessary verification isn’t provided.
If the family is determined eligible, the worker enters the child care authorization data in the DHS computer system within two working days of all necessary verification being received. A child’s eligibility can be verified on the Provider Web. Details on authorization Rates and Unit Types can be found in Section C: Rates and Unit Types.
When eligible, most families qualify for a 12 month eligibility period. This means the child may continue to attend child care even when the parent loses his or her job. Continued eligibility allows the parent to search for new employment and for the child to continue benefitting from the child care program. Research shows continuity of care and stability of child care placement contributes to healthy early childhood development.
You can check authorization renewal dates on the Provider Web by either clicking on a child’s name on the authorization list or by running a Provider Authorization Renewal Due report which is available on the report tab. This allows you to remind families when their renewal is due so that they don’t have a lapse in coverage.
Provider Access to Case Authorization
When a family is approved for Child Care Subsidy at your contract number, you can view authorization details on EBT Oklahoma Provider Web – Site Logon. If the authorization for the child is not on the Provider Web for you to view, the child has not been approved for care at your contract number.
Authorization information on the Provider Web:
- Effective (Start) Date
- End Date
- Payment Rate for each authorization
- Units Approved
- Copay Amount