Child Care Assistance Program
- What is the Child Care Assistance Program?
- Who can get help from Child Care Assistance?
- How does the Child Care Assistance Program work?
- How much will I have to pay each month on CCAP?
- Can I pick my child care provider if I get help from CCAP?
- How do I find a child care provider who will accept CCAP?
- Can I change my child care provider at any time with CCAP?
- Can I use more than one child care provider with CCAP?
- Do I have to work, look for work, or go to school to get CCAP?
- Who is a parentally responsible individual
- What if I am unemployed and need child care to look for work?
- Do I or my children have to be U.S. citizens to get CCAP?
- I am an immigrant. If I get help from CCAP, will I be a public charge?
- Does it matter how long I have lived in Minnesota?
- Are there any asset limits for Child Care Assistance?
- Do I have to cooperate with the child support office to get CCAP?
- How do I get an application for the Child Care Assistance Program?
- What is the application like?
- How do I apply? Do I have to go in person?
- Can I apply for CCAP while I am pregnant, if I have no other children?
- How soon will I be able to get help from CCAP?
- Is there a waiting list to receive Child Care Assistance
- How does the waiting list work?
- What do I have to do to stay on the program?
- How often do I have to renew my CCAP?
- What happens if I move to another county?
- Is there a limit to how long I can get CCAP?
The Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) helps parents with lower incomes pay for child care. Child Care Assistance has many subprograms to help families.
- Basic Sliding Fee (BSF) Child Care, for parents who are working, looking for work, or going to school,
- MFIP Child Care, for parents on MFIP,
- Transition Year Child Care, for parents in the first year after leaving MFIP.
Child Care Assistance is administered by the Minnesota Department of Human Services but eligibility and case management is done by local human services departments (counties, tribes, and sub-contracted agencies).
Child Care Assistance is for families with children under age 13 (and under age 15 for children who have special needs). Income must be below limits and parents also have to work, look for work, or go to school. All families on MFIP (Minnesota Family Investment Program) can get CCAP. Lots of other parents also get CCAP to help them pay for child care.
Most parents getting CCAP have to pay part of the cost of child care each month. This is called a co-pay. CCAP has a sliding fee system — that means families that make more money pay a higher co-pay than families who make less money. The county or tribe also pays part of the cost of your child care. Payments are sent to your childcare provider. If the child care is done at a provider’s home or a center, payments will be sent to your provider. If your provider charges more than the amount that the county or trive pays, then you may have to pay the difference (plus your co-pay). Or you can find another provider who does not charge more than what the county or tribe will pay.
The amount you pay each month (your co-pay) depends on your income and your family size. Some families with very low incomes do not have a co-pay. Other families pay between $10 and several hundred dollars each month. You pay the provider a co-pay amount every two weeks.
Yes. Your provider could be a child care center, family-based care, or even a friend, family member or neighbor. The provider must be 18 years old. If your child care provider is not licensed, a worker from the county or tribe will have to approve your provider before CCAP will pay for your child to go there — to make sure your child will be safe. Also, not all providers accept CCAP. You have to find a provider who accepts CCAP.
You can call or visit the website for Parent Aware. Information is available about providers all across the state. You can search for childcare that meets your needs. On the website under Search, you can search for information on centers/preschools, family child care and Head Start. Operators are available in Hmong, Spanish and Somali. Parents and Child Care Providers are encouraged to call 1-888-291-9811 (651-665-0150 in the metro area) for personalized support in their home language.
Yes, but you must tell your child care worker 15 days before you change providers. If you think your child is in danger, tell your child care worker right away.
Yes. To get CCAP, every adult who lives in your home who is a parent, legal guardian, or spouse has to work an average of 20 hours per week, be looking for work, going to school, or participating in Employment Plan activites (if you receiving MFIP).
If these people live in your home, they are parentally responsible individuals and have to go to work, look for work, or go to school for you to get CCAP:
- The child’s mother and father (even if they are not married)
- An adult married to the mother or father of the child
- The child’s legal guardian and his or her spouse
These people who live in your home are not parentally responsible individuals. They do not have to work, look for work, or go to school for you to get CCAP (unless they are legal guardians):
- Grandparents of a child
- A parent’s boyfriend or girlfriend (who are not a parent of a child in the home)
- Adult relatives who are not the mother or father of the child
- Other people who live with you but who are not related to you
Children for whom you are applying for CCAP must be U.S. citizens or have an acceptable immigration status. Parents or other caregivers do not have to be U.S. citizens or have an acceptable immigration status but they do need to provide proof of identity (e.g. driver's license, state identification card, passport, school identification card or birth certificate) and residence (e.g. one of the items listed above or a copy of a recent utility bill, rental lease or mortgage document).
Also, you will be asked to provide Social Security Numbers on the application. You are not required to provide Social Security Numbers and it will not impact your ability to get any benefits if you do not provide them.
As long as your assests are under $1 million, CCAP does not look at your assets. Assets include money in a checking or savings account and other things of value.
For most people, yes. If you do not cooperate, you cannot access CCAP. However, if you have a good reason for not cooperating (for example, if you fear physical or emotional harm to you or your child), you may not have to cooperate. If this applies to you, tell your worker that you want to claim “good cause.” You will have to fill out a form to explain your situation.
Pick up an application from your county human services office or download one from this website by clicking here. Complete and mail the application to your county human service office. Instead of completing the paper application, you can opt to apply online at MN Benefits.
The paper application is about 9 pages long, including instructions. It asks questions about your income and expenses, your employer or school, and your children and their needs. You will also have to prove your identity, income, and residence (where you live). You can do this by including copies of an ID or birth certificate and utility bill, rental lease, or mortgage.
The online application is a combined application which allows you to select the program of Child Care Assistance, for which you are interested in applying. The questions will vary based on which programs you select.
After submitting the online application, you will need to send in proofs as mentioned above.
You can apply online or you can mail, fax, or deliver a paper application to your county or tribal human services office. Once you apply for CCAP, you will work with a child care worker who will help you understand the program.
Yes, but you cannot get CCAP until after the child is born. Some counties and tribes have a waiting list, so it is best to apply as soon as possible to get on the list.
You will get a letter from your child care worker within 30 days from when you turn in your application. It will tell you how soon you can begin getting help from CCAP. There is a waiting list for CCAP in some counties and trives, so you may not be able to get help paying for child care right away.
Some counties have waiting lists to receive Child Care Assistance. To find out if your county or trive has a waiting list click here.
If you are put on a waiting list in your county or trive, when you get to the top of the list, the county or tribe will send you an application so that you can apply for the program.
You need to pay your co-pay to the child care provider every month. You also need to tell your child care worker if some things change in your life within 10 days—such as getting a new phone number or address, getting married or divorced, or having another child. If you do not tell your worker about these changes, you may have to pay back money that the county or trive paid by mistake.
Usually every 12 months. You will be sent a “redetermination” form in the mail. Fill it out and mail it back right away so that you can continue to get help paying for child care from CCAP.
You should tell your child care worker right away. Usually you can still get CCAP from your former county for 2 months after you move and can start getting CCAP from your new county after that.