Section D Rates and Unit Types

How Rates Are Determined

The rates paid by DHS for child care are determined by the following factors:

  • Star status of the facility;
  • Setting in which child care is provided (child care center or family child care home);
  • Child’s age;
  • Unit type that is approved (full-time, part-time, blended, weekly, or special needs)

See Appendix C-4-B, Child Care Provider Rate Schedule, for more details.

Unit types

One of the factors when determining payment rate is the unit type authorized. The following are the different unit types:


Unit type approved for more than 4 but fewer than 24 hours of care per day. It is NOT limited to a specific number of hours per day.


Unit type approved for 4 or less hours of care per day.


Unit type approved when a client needs full time care (more than 4 hours per day) and at least 15 days and no more than 23 days per month. If a child is authorized to receive care in two or more facilities during the same month, a weekly unit type cannot be approved for any of the providers.

The weekly unit type will pay for some absent days as long as the child attends the minimum number of full time days shown on the Appendix C-4-B for that month. If the child qualifies for an absent day payment, you will be paid for these absent days in your payment received after the 10th of the following month.

Remember, only full-time days count toward the number of days needed to qualify for an absent day payment. When the child does not attend enough full-time days to qualify for absent days payments, you:

  • CANNOT charge the client for absent days;
  • CANNOT require the child to attend a minimum number of days to meet this requirement; or
  • CANNOT allow attendance to be swiped for days the child was not in your care.

If the client fails to swipe accurate attendance which causes you not to receive an absent day payment, you can charge the client for absent days only if the child actually attended the days that the client failed to swipe.


Unit type approved for school age children (age four and older) when care is needed Monday through Friday part-time for the days school is in session and full-time for school holidays and breaks. It is a “blend” of the number of full and part-time days the child should need care based on information from the Department of Education. DHS has established two blended unit types, traditional and extended school year. The family’s worker determines which blended unit type is appropriate.

  • The traditional school year blended unit type is approved when the child attends a school with a traditional nine-month school calendar. The child care facility has to be open on school holidays except summer break for the traditional blended unit type to be approved. This unit type pays the blended rate from August 16th through May 15th of each year. During the summer months, if the child continues to attend the same child care facility, the provider is paid the weekly rate with an absent day payment if applicable. This change is automatic in the system and no action is needed on your part. This traditional blended rate is coded with a “B” on your Provider Notice of Action.
  • The extended school year blended unit type is authorized when the child attends a school with a year-round or a continuous learning calendar. Authorizations coded with the extended school year blended unit type receive the extended school year rate for the entire calendar year. The facility must be open during school holidays which include fall, Christmas, spring and summer breaks. This rate is coded with an “A” on your Provider Notice of Action.

The child is NOT eligible for a blended rate if:

  • the child requires more full-time days in addition to school holidays during school year;
  • the child does not need care for school holidays;
  • the child uses a different child care facility for school holidays;
  • the child care facility is not open on school holidays;
  • only part-time care is needed;
  • more than one child care facility is needed for the child; or
  • the child qualifies for a special needs rate.

Special Needs Unit Type

Unit Type approved for a child with disabilities that is in addition to the rate received for a typical child of the same age. To be authorized at this higher rate, the special needs process must be followed.

  • The child must already be receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), SoonerStart early intervention services documented by an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) or special education services from the local school district as documented by an Individual Education Plan (IEP).
  • You, the provider, will initiate the special needs rate process by accessing Form 08AD006E, Certification for Special Needs Rate for Licensed Child Care Homes and Centers located on the Provider Web. You, the client, and your licensing specialist must then complete the appropriate sections of the form. This form helps determine any extra care the child may require from you, how these care needs will be met, whether you meet certification requirements to receive the rate and what rate is approved.
  • To meet certification requirements for this special needs rate, you must have a previous record of compliance with licensing requirements, develop and follow an appropriate plan to meet the child’s needs, have staff present with current first aid and CPR training and obtain an on-site consultation regarding the nature of the child’s disability and the development of a child care plan.
  • Depending on how the form is scored, the child may be approved for a moderate or severe special needs unit type or may continue to receive the typical child care rate.
  • If the child is approved to receive the higher rate, it will be effective the first day of the month following the date Child Care Subsidy staff signs the form. If Child Care Subsidy staff signs the form before the child begins attending, the higher rate may be effective from the date care is authorized.
  • Once the Certification for Special Needs Rate for Licensed Child Care Homes and Centers form has been completed and one of the special needs unit types approved, it does not need to be completed again unless the child changes to a new child care provider, the child stops attending the facility that was approved for the special needs rate for more than 6 months or the care needs of the child change.

Foster Care Rate Add-on

A foster care add-on rate to help support children in foster care. The add-on rate is $5 per day in addition to the typical daily rate approved for the child. The trauma experienced by children in the child welfare system may not rise to the level of a special needs diagnosis yet it warrants a special level of care. This aligns with support and work for this vulnerable population.

Non-Traditional Hours’ Add-on

A non-traditional hour’s add-on rate to help support families with non-traditional work schedules.  The rate is $14 per day for 2 hours or more of care provided between 6 pm and 6 am and on weekends. The add-on rate is in addition to the typical full-time daily rate approved for the child. The non-traditional hours add-on will be in your payment received after the 10th of the following month.

Note: It is your responsibility as a provider to make sure the correct unit type is approved. If you notice that a child’s authorization may be coded incorrectly, you must contact the family’s worker immediately to correct the authorization. The earliest date a rate can be increased is the first of the month the change is reported.