The Department of Social Services (DSS) provides financial assistance for Child Care services through the payment of full or partial child care costs for eligible families based on a sliding scale fee system. The primary purpose of the Child Care program is to enable families to obtain and retain employment, or the skills necessary to obtain employment, with the ultimate goal being to break the cycle of poverty. Child care is to be considered an on-going benefit in support the family's efforts to obtain or maintain self-sufficiency. Once a family is approved and a child authorized for child care benefits, child care should continue as long as the family continues to meet the eligibility requirements.
The Child Care Assistance program is funded by the Children's Division (CD) through the Family Support Division (FSD). The FSD administers the child care assistance program through the income maintenance section. Protective Services (PS) child care is administered by the Children’s Division.
Families may establish eligibility for child care assistance by:
Protective Services: Child care is available through the Children's Division as a part of the family's treatment plan. Income Maintenance (IM) staff will not be involved in determining eligibility for this category of care. IM staff need to be aware of this service and should consult with CD staff if they suspect that Children's Division may have an active PS child care case. Duplication of services must be prevented.
Federal Authority: The Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) established the Child Care Subsidy Program as a block grant in 1992. In 1996, CCDBG was amended by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-193) and the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, as implemented in regulation at 45 CFR Parts 98 and 99.
State Authority: Missouri Revised Statute Chapter 208 and 210 govern the purpose and general duties of the Child Care Subsidy program.
Parents participating in the Child Care Assistance program may choose their own child care provider. The chosen provider must meet registration or contract requirements as described in section 1215.000.00. Parents can obtain information about choosing quality child care and child care providers in their communities by contacting their local child care resource and referral agency. For child care resource and referral information, click http://mo.childcareaware.org/.