Section E Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT)

All contracted child care centers and homes must use the EBT attendance tracking and payment system to receive subsidy payments.

In order to receive subsidy payments you must:

  • have a subsidy contract with DHS;
  • have an account at a financial institution where funds can be deposited for you;
  • have a land line phone hook-up for the Point of Service (POS) machine;
    • At this time, a POS machine still needs to be available as an option for recording attendance, a landline and POS machine would still be required for providers.
  • have signed an equipment agreement with our EBT contractor.
  • Families may still use their EBT cards to record attendance, OR use the new ECC Connect App on their phone to record attendance. Please do not discourage families if they choose to continue using their EBT card at this time.

In addition, you must have at least one child authorized at your facility before you can request a POS machine and receive payments.

How the EBT System Works

You will be paid for care that is authorized based on the attendance information that your POS machine collects from card swipes, or use of the ECC Connect App. DHS clients record time and attendance by swiping their cards through your POS machine and entering a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to check their children in and out of your facility. By entering his or her PIN – the client’s “electronic signature” – certifies the attendance information to be correct. Clients have the option of using the ECC Connect App on their phone to record attendance as well. Only one method should be used to check in and check out to avoid duplicate entries.

Attendance information from the POS machine is sent to a system that matches it against what DHS staff authorized. Based on receipts and reports you can obtain from your POS machine and the Provider Web, you will know when the child is approved to start, how much co-payment needs to be collected from the client, and if care is approved for that day.

Attendance information entered on the ECC Connect App will only show on the Provider Web; use the Provider Web to verify this attendance recording method and not the POS machine.

Client EBT Card

Issues regarding the caretaker’s EBT card not working, needing replacement, or other issues, the client must contact their county office.

Instructional Videos for Clients on using their Child Care EBT card

When a client is issued an EBT child care card, the videos below should be viewed. The videos give information on how to use the EBT card as well as the client’s responsibilities for using the EBT card. Please feel free to share these links with clients needing assistance, and view them yourself to understand the system.

ECC Connect App

OKDHS is pleased to announce the release of the ECC (Electronic Child Care) Connect mobile phone app — a new, easier way for parents with children in subsidized child care to check their children in and out, all without the use of an EBT card. The time and attendance app reduces wait time at the child care facility, gives parents fewer cards to carry and offers a faster process for parents and providers.  The app is available for download now in the App Store or Google Play.

Quick Facts:

  • Attendance recorded using the phone app will appear the same as EBT swipes on the Provider Portal.  You will not be able to use the POS machine tape to view phone app attendance.  If you need access to the Provider Portal, please email EBTCHILDCARE@okdhs.org.
  • Families will still have up to 10 days (the current day and the previous nine) to record attendance using the previous check-in and previous check-out functions.
  • Families may still use their EBT cards to record attendance.  Please do not discourage families if they choose to continue using them.

Instructional Flyers for ECC Connect App

ECC Connect App FAQs:

Do providers that take DHS subsidy have to allow clients to use the app instead of the card?
The app is another option for recording attendance in addition to the EBT card.  Until EBT cards and POS machines completely go away, both methods (EBT card or phone app) remain allowable options. Only one option should be used for each check in or check out to avoid duplicate entries.  There may be a variety of reasons why a provider is unable to accept attendance recorded through the phone app at this time. Use of the Provider Web should be used to verify attendance recorded.
Do the providers have to sign up for anything in order for their clients to use the app?
No, but providers will need to double check attendance using the Provider Portal to ensure swipes are correctly entered by the parents.  The POS machine tapes cannot be used to verify attendance entered on the phone app.
If a client currently has a child care card, and it is damaged or lost, or they want to try the app, can they switch over to the app at any time?
Yes.
How are additional users/card holders handled on the app (authorized reps)?
For AFS cases, there can still only be the payee and one authorized representative.  Both the payee and authorized rep have the ability to create an account and see what is going on with the account.
Can a provider be an authorized representative for a family whose child attends the facility?
No.  Just like with EBT cards, the provider is never to have access to a client’s phone app account.
If the client still prefers the card, is that still an option?
Yes, families may still use their EBT cards to record attendance.  Please do not discourage families if they choose to continue using them.
Should providers send their current machines back?
No, machines should still stay with the providers as an option to use to record attendance.

Point of Service (POS) Machine Functions

  • Daily receipts,
  • Exception reports, if you have less than 35 children in care, and
  • Totals Reports

For complete, detailed information about how to use the system, read the “EBT Day Care Provider Operation’s Manual.” If you would like a copy of this document please call the EBT help desk at 1-800-647-8533 to order and one will be mailed to you.

Provider Web Functions

  • Today’s Exceptions
  • Today’s Attendance – Summary and Detail
  • Monthly Activity with Absent Days – Summary and Detail
  • Previous 10-day Exceptions
  • Previous 10-day Attendance – Summary and Detail
  • Weekly Reconcile – Summary and Detail
  • Provider Authorization Renewal Due report

The “Oklahoma Electronic Child Care Provider Website User Guide”, contains detailed information about these functions. This can be accessed by clicking on “Provider Website User Guide” on the Login screen on the Provider Web.

For accurate payment and attendance recording

Full time:
requires a check in and a check out for correct payment. If the client only checks the child in and not out, you will only be paid the part time rate.
Part time:
requires only a check in for correct payment but you may require a check out for your records.
Blended:
Traditional: during the specified school year of August 16 to May 15, only a check in is required for correct payment but you may require a check out for your records. During the specified “summer” of May 16 to Aug 15, a check in and a check out is required to receive the weekly rate and absent day payments.Extended: requires only a check in for correct payment but you may require a check out for your records.
Weekly:
requires a check in and a check out for correct payment. If the client only checks the child in and not out, you will only be paid the part time rate. Part time days will not count towards the minimum number of days required for absent day payments.

POS Machine Messages

“Approval” messages are received when:

  • the parent completes real-time in and out swipes and care has been authorized at your facility.

“Pending” messages are received when:

  • the parent completes previous in and out swipes. Unless all days have been used, these should be paid. You can also check the status of an authorization on the Provider Web.
  • the client is approved with a different provider but the provider information has not been changed in the system yet. When a swipe shows a “pending- different provider” message, all the attendance information is being stored in the EBT system. The dates and times will be stored for future payment up to a maximum of 90 days. These swipes should pay automatically when the worker completes the change of provider in the system. When a “pending- different provider” message is received, the client should contact their worker immediately.

“Denied” messages are received when:

  • a client has not applied for child care benefits or has a pending application that has not been approved;
  • a child with an active child care benefit has run out of authorized days for the month;
  • a case has been closed; or
  • incorrect information is entered into the POS machine, for example, if the client enters the wrong person number for a child.

The system stores the attendance information but will not pay on “denied” swipes. If you receive subsequent approval for these attempted transactions, the client can enter previous ins and outs for the current day and the previous nine days for any attendance. If attendance was prior to the previous in/out time period, see Section H- Payment Adjustments.

“Broadcast” messages sometimes appear on the POS machine.

  • If the message is for the client, it will also appear on the daily receipt when they swipe in for the day. It might say something like “call your worker.” The message will appear each day the client swipes in until local county office staff cancels it.
  • If the message is for you, it will appear the first time any client swipes in that day. It may be a message about your contract, or an alert of some sort. It is very important that you pay attention to any provider broadcast messages.

Electronic Settlement Payment Schedule

The EBT system processes all the attendance information transmitted daily from your POS machine and determines what payment you will receive. Any co-payments and/or payments by absent parents or employers as well as any garnishments, levies, or overpayments you might owe to DHS have already been subtracted.

The EBT payment week begins every Sunday at 12:01 a.m. and ends every Saturday at midnight. Electronic settlements are deposited into your account each week. Each deposit is for attendance two weeks before the current week. This allows for you to void any incorrect swipes and clients to enter any missed swipes. The payment calendar is located on the Provider Web.