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Child Care TANF Definitions

The Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) regulations at ß98.33(b) require the CCDF Lead Agency in each State to inform parents who receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits about an exception to the individual penalties associated with the TANF work requirements. The exception applies to any single custodial parent who has a demonstrated inability to obtain needed child care for a child under 6 years of age.

In fulfilling this requirement, the State TANF agency, not the State Child Care Lead Agency, is responsible for establishing the criteria or definitions for a number of terms. These include:

               Appropriate Child Care;

               Reasonable Distance;

               Unsuitability of Informal Child Care; and

               Affordable Child Care Arrangements.

The criteria or definitions found in the tables below are applied by the State TANF agency to determine whether the parent has a demonstrated inability to obtain needed child care. They also show the extreme variability and complexity inherent in the eligibility and compliance processes.

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Definition of "Appropriate Child Care"

 

State

Definition of "appropriate child care"

Alabama

TANF policy considers child care services to be appropriate if they are rendered by a child care provider legally authorized under applicable Federal and State laws, regulations, and requirements to provide such services and selected to provide such services in accordance with parental choice safeguards.

Alaska

Appropriate child care is defined at AS47.27.035 and at 7AAC45.260 as care by a provider who is at a location that is within 30 minutes travel time, by public or private transportation, from the participantís home or activity site, who is willing to care for the child, and who appears to have the ability to care for children of the same age and development level as the participantís child.

Arizona

Child care that is licensed or certified by the Arizona Department of Health Services or certified by the Arizona Department of Economic Security.

Arkansas

Child care that meets the minimum health and safety standards and guidelines established by the Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education Licensing Rules and Regulations. All care must be provided in a center, licensed day care home, or a registered or relative home.

California

Appropriate child care is defined as child care chosen by the parent that meets the needs of the child and parents and is either licensed for the appropriate age group or special needs category, or is license-exempt and meets TrustLine requirements (unless the child care arrangement is exempt from the TrustLine requirements).

Colorado

Care and supervision that maintains the health and safety of the child while encouraging growth and development. Appropriate care should strive to meet the developmental, physical, mental, and emotional needs of the child, as defined by the county in the approved county Colorado Works and Child Care Assistance Plan.

Connecticut

 

Delaware

Care that meets the health and safety standards as defined by State licensing guidelines, and that meets the age-appropriate needs of the child and the child care needs of the parents.

District of Columbia

Child care must meet the parentís needs in terms of hours and location. The child care center or family child care provider must be licensed. An in-home or relative provider must meet the minimum requirements incorporated in the child care providerís agreement. The basic needs of the child(ren) must be met (safety, developmental, social, cultural, and health).

Florida

 

Georgia

Care that meets Stateís licensing/minimum health and safety standards, is available, and meets the needs of the family and child.

Hawaii

The provider meeting the licensing requirements or minimum health and safety standards established by the Lead Agency. In addition, the provider is deemed appropriate upon satisfactory clearance of background checks, such as CPSS and State name check and/or FBI check.

Idaho

Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis by a reasonable-person concept. Reasonable person is defined as whether the conduct would be that of a reasonable, prudent person in similar circumstances.

Illinois

Affordable care that meets the childís need and complies with all applicable State and local laws and regulations.

Indiana

Care that is provided in accordance with State law. Appropriate child care is either licensed, registered, or license-exempt.

Iowa

The child care provider is a licensed center, a registered child care home, an exempt facility, or someone who can pass child abuse and criminal record checks and can meet the minimum health and safety requirements for non-registered child care home providers.

Kansas

A regulated facility that meets or exceeds minimum licensing and registration regulations. A non-regulated legally exempt provider who has completed a Health and Safety Standards Check List CC-1631 and maintains a facility that meets or exceeds minimum standards.

Kentucky

An eligible child care provider as defined in 45 C.F.R. Part 98.2

Louisiana

Child care provided by any State-licensed facility;
Child care provided by a State-registered facility; and
Child care provided by a private party of the parentsí choice if arrangements meet basic health and safety standards.

Maine

Appropriate child care is child care furnished by a child care provider who has passed background checks as required by State law and regulation.

Maryland

Child care that meets the parentís needs in terms of hours and location, meets the childís needs in terms of health and safety, and is geared toward the healthy development of the child.

Massachusetts

 

Michigan

 

Minnesota

1) The provider of care is a licensed or legal non-licensed provider according to State standards; 2) The provider of care is able to meet a demonstrated need for language-specific care; and 3) The care is appropriate to the childís age and special needs. Special needs means disabilities as defined in Minnesota Statutes 125A.02, subd. 1. Counties also should accommodate demonstrated needs for culturally specific services as resources allow.

Mississippi

A licensed center, family day care home, or an individual (18 years or older) chosen by the parent to care for the child.

Missouri

Child care that is consistently available;
Child care that is available during the participantís hours of employment, education, training, and/or work activity;
Child care that addresses the specialized needs of the child. For example, a child with a disability.
Child care that is developmentally and age appropriate. This determination will be based on the information provided by the parent when demonstrating that the care available to them does not meet the developmental and/or age-appropriate skills of their child;
Child care by a full-time, year-round, primary provider who is at least 18 years of age.
Child care by a provider who has undergone a Child Abuse and Neglect background screening and a tuberculosis test;
Child care is provided in a residence that has running water, electricity, a safe source of heat, meets any local housing code standards, and a working telephone is accessible to the provider either in the providerís residence or within reasonable proximity of the residence.

Montana

The child care provider meets applicable State standards.

Nebraska

Care that is or can be licensed or approved by Nebraska Health and Human Services System.

Nevada

Child care chosen by the parent that offers developmentally appropriate practices that meet the needs of that parent and child.

New Hampshire

The child care provider is open for the hours and days the parent would need child care in order to comply with work requirements; is able and willing to provide child care services including any special needs of the child(ren); is either licensed or license-exempt for the appropriate age group in accordance with RSA 170E; and the care provided is representative of the quality of child care provided to other child(ren) in the community.

New Jersey

The child care provider is open for the hours and days the parent would need child care in order to comply with work requirements, and the provider is able and willing to provide child care services including any special needs of the child(ren) and meets DHS requirements.

New Mexico

Child care provided by a facility or an individual that is licensed or registered with CYFD, provides care and supervision to a child, meets the health and safety standards established by CYFD, is able to address the special needs of a child, provides care that meets the childís age and development, and is available during the recipientís hours of work, education, or training.

New York

The child care provider is open for the hours and days the parent or caretaker relative would need child care in order to comply with the applicable work requirements, and the provider is able and willing to provide child care services to the applicable child(ren) including addressing any special needs of the applicable child(ren).

North Carolina

Care in a regulated child care center or family child care home that has a license, or care in an unlicensed child care arrangement that meets the minimal health, safety, or criminal record check standards required of unlicensed providers for reimbursement through the Stateís child care subsidy program. In addition, child care options must have hours of operation that mesh with the work schedules of parents and meet any special needs of the individual children.

North Dakota

The inability to obtain appropriate child care that includes licensed center-based provider, licensed family home child care providers, self-certified family home child care providers under North Dakota Century Code 50-11.1, or relative child care providers who are not required to be licensed or registered.

Ohio

Availability of a licensed or certified child care provider.

Oklahoma

The above criteria are defined in the following policy:

340:10-2-2. Sanction process (d) Determination of good cause. All good cause situations are temporary in nature. An individual may have good cause for refusing or failing to participate in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Work. The social services specialist determines whether or not good cause exists. An example of good cause is:

(1) appropriate child care for the child(ren) is not available; Appropriate child care is care provided by:

(A) a licensed, contracted child care facility;
(B) an approved in-home care giver;
(C) a dependable relative who is able and willing to assume responsibility for care and supervision of the child for a part of the day;
(D) a free or low-cost facility, such as a day care preschool or Head Start program operated by a community action agency; or
(E) informal arrangements made by the parent with a neighbor or friend for occasional care.

Oregon

(a) Both the provider and the place where care is provided meet the subsidy agencyís health and safety and provider requirements defined in administrative rule; (b) The care accommodates the parentís work schedule; and (c) The care meets the specific needs of the child, such as age and special needs requirements.

Pennsylvania

Care operating in accordance with Pa. State Day Care Regulations and meeting the requirements of CCDBG regulations. This includes licensed center-based and group home care, registered family day care and informal care. Informal care includes care in the childís home or in the caregiverís home.

Puerto Rico

Appropriate Child Care means that the child care provider will offer the service according to the parentís work requirements and childís special needs, including extended hours, before- and after-school hours, weekend days and school vacation period. Providers must also meet DHSS requirements.

Rhode Island

Care that meets the standards for providers as specified in Section 0850.03.02 of the DHS Code of Rhode Island Rules.

South Carolina

Appropriate child care must be determined by parental choice to ensure that the developmental nurturing needs of a child(ren) are met. Child care facilities must comply with all South Carolina Code of Laws addressing regulatory requirements and procedures. Informal child care arrangements are not subject to Child Day Care statutory and regulatory requirements; however, parents are required to complete a Self-Arranged Child Care Certification form to ensure health and safety requirements are being met.

South Dakota

The provision of care that meets minimal health and safety standards and the developmental needs of children.

Tennessee

Care that meets the minimal State child care licensing standards, regulated registered home policy, or the unregulated provider health and safety checklist established by the Lead Agency for each of these types of care.

Texas

Child Care provided by a facility that is either:

1. Licensed by the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services;
2. Registered with the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services;
3. Licensed by the Texas Department of health as a youth day camp; or
4. Operated and monitored by the United States military services.

In addition, self-arranged child care may also be provided by relatives who meet the requirements stipulated at CFR 45, 98.2 or by facilities "listed" by the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services. A Workforce Development Board shall ensure that such facilities are subject, under local law, to requirements designated to protect the health and safety of the children as stipulated in 45 CFR, 98.41.

Utah

Appropriate child care is determined by the parent. The parent chooses the care setting that best meets the childís developmental needs. Finding appropriate child care will be counted as parent participation in the Stateís TANF program. To find appropriate child care, parents are referred to their local child care resource and referral agency.

Vermont

A child care slot available with a licensed or registered provider located within five miles of the caretakerís residence or within five miles of the caretakerís normal route to a program activity or employment and that corresponds to the days and hours when care is needed and that is appropriate to the age(s) and special needs of the child(ren) needing care.

Virginia

That the child care must be arranged: (a) by the participant, or (b) if the participant cannot arrange for the childís care, it must be arranged by the local department of social services with a legally operating provider.

Washington

Licensed, certified, or approved under State laws and regulations that apply to the type of child care you use, and that you may make your own choice among child care options that are available in your area.

West Virginia

Child care is available during work or activity placement hours.
Regulated or certified child care is suitable for special needs children.

Wisconsin

Child care as determined by the parents to meet the needs of the family. The child care provider must be regulated in order to receive the child care assistance subsidy payment.

Wyoming

Child care meeting Wyoming licensing standards or if legally exempt from child care licensing requirements, meeting minimum health and safety requirements as outlined by the CCDF. All providers and adults in the facility with access to children must also receive a favorable Central Registry and criminal history prescreen check.

 

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Definition of "Reasonable Distance"

 

State

Definition of "reasonable distance"

Alabama

TANF policy considers employment to be suitable if a TANF recipient is not expected to commute more than two hours per day, inclusive of time required to transport the recipientís child(ren) to and from child care.

Alaska

Reasonable distance constitutes a location that is within 30 minutes travel time by public or private transportation from the participantís home or activity site.

Arizona

Child care that is available when the total travel time from a TANF participantís home to the child care provider, and to a work activity, is 1Ĺ hours (or less) one way; or Ĺ hour (or less) one way if the only mode of transportation is walking.

Arkansas

The travel time from the parentís home to his or her place of employment must not exceed more than 30 minutes one way in order to be required to place a child in child care.

California

Reasonable distance is defined as the distance customarily traveled by working families in accessing child care in the community.

Colorado

Distance between the childís home and the child care setting or the parentís place of employment and the child care setting that, when traveled using transportation resources available to the family, still allows the family to perform basic daily routines including meal preparation, personal care and grooming and meet the need for basic sleep, as defined by the county in the approved county Colorado Works and Child Care Assistance Plan.

Connecticut

 

Delaware

Care that is located in proximity to either a parentís place of employment or near the parentís home (generally, care that is within one hourís drive).

District of Columbia

Reasonable distance is defined as travel time it takes for a resident of the District of Columbia to drop off the child at the child care facility and arrive on time at work. This travel time should not exceed one and one-half hours from home to work. For District of Columbia residents who work outside the city in Maryland or Virginia, the travel time is defined as the time it takes to drop off the child(ren) at the child care facility and arrive on time to work. This travel time should not exceed two hours from home to work.

Florida

 

Georgia

Care that is within a 45-minute radius of the parentís home or work activity.

Hawaii

A maximum of one hour (each way) of travel from the provider to the participant/recipientís place of employment or education/training.

Idaho

Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis by a reasonable person concept. Reasonable person is defined as whether the conduct would be that of a reasonable prudent person in the same similar circumstances.

Illinois

The clientís total travel time (from home to child care provider to job/activity, plus return trip) is not more than 25 percent of the clientís total time on the job/activity, e.g., no more than two hours commuting for an 8-hour work day.

Indiana

A round trip from home to child care setting of less than two hours in duration by automobile.

Iowa

The required travel time from home to the work-related activity does not exceed one hour each way including the travel time necessary to take a child to a child care provider.

Kansas

Total daily transport time to and from home and to the child care provider not to exceed two hours. If a longer transport time is generally accepted in the community, the round trip transport time shall not exceed the generally accepted community standards.

Kentucky

The distance customarily available within a locality.

Louisiana

Child care is unavailable if child care is not located within a "reasonable distance," defined as 30 minutes from the individuals home or work site.

Maine

Reasonable distance is defined as not exceeding by Ĺ hour the normal commute time from the participantís dwelling to work or an approved activity.

Maryland

Based on available transportation, a parent would be expected to travel to the child care provider no more than one hour each way.

Massachusetts

 

Michigan

 

Minnesota

The total commute time to the child care provider and to work does not exceed two hours round trip.

Mississippi

The distance shall be considered reasonable if the day care center is within a 20-mile radius of the parentís home or work site.

Missouri

A determination of whether child care is within a reasonable distance should include, but not be limited to, the following factors:

1) When the participant has no independent transportation, s/he can be expected to use public transportation if:

It is available at the appropriate time for the participantís schedule of work or work participation activity;
It is not cost prohibitive for the participant; and,
The time involved in getting to public transportation, child care, and then to work is reasonable in relation to the participantís actual hours of work or work participation activity.

2) If the participant has an independent means of transportation, the transportation must include the following:

The vehicle or other transportation is reliable;
The recipient is able to afford the transportation costs, including the costs involved in maintaining and ensuring the reliability of the transportation.
The commuting time from the individualís home to the child care provider and his/her work site (or work participation activity) is no more than an hour each way.

Montana

A. If the family is without either its own (or arranged) transportation, and there is no public transportation, then its home or work site must be no more than three miles from the child care provider.

B. If the family has its own (or arranged) transportation, its home or work site is within one-hour travel distance, one-way, from the child care provider.

Nebraska

A round trip of two hours or less from home to the site of child care. If a normal round- trip commuting time in the area is more than two hours, that is considered the generally accepted community standard.

Nevada

A parent should not have to travel more than 30 minutes dropping his/her child off at the care providerís location and 30 minutes picking up their child.

New Hampshire

The distance of the available child care provider from the individualís residence and then to his/her work activity, is not substantially greater than the distance that others living in the same town or city would travel for child care services and then to his/her work activity.

New Jersey

The child care provider is located within a distance that is en route from the parentís home and work activity and that the parent can get the child to care and then to their activity within 90 minutes.

New Mexico

Travel to a facility located in the community or surrounding community in which the TANF recipient resides, which takes into account parental or caretaker choice and availability of transportation.

New York

Reasonable distance means the child care provider is located within a reasonable distance from the parent or caretaker relativeís home and work activity, based on locally accepted community standards as defined by the social services district in the child care portion of the districtís consolidated services plan.

North Carolina

In evaluating "reasonable distance," counties consider the total time it takes for parents to travel one-way from home to the child care provider then to work or work-related activity. Because of differences in the Stateís geography and highway/road systems, county departments of social services have maximum discretion to decide what is "reasonable" for individuals based on their resources (i.e., whether they have a vehicle in working order or family resources available for transporting the family) and local transportation considerations.

As a guideline, counties should consider that it may not be reasonable to require families receiving Work First to travel more than 80 minutes one-way to child care and work. Eighty minutes is approximately four times the average one-way commute time in the State (not including stops at child care arrangements), as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau based on the 1990 decennial census. This does not preclude exemption from the sanction based on a shorter commute if the county considers the commute an obstacle to childrenís healthy development or the familyís self-sufficiency goals.

North Dakota

Child care is unobtainable at a location such that the usual commuting time from the parentsí home to the location at which child care is provided, and on to the parentsí worksite, is one hour or less.

Ohio

Reasonable distance is defined by each individual county department of job and family services and is based on availability of transportation.

Oklahoma

The custodial parent caring for a child who has not attained 6 years of age has demonstrated an inability to obtain needed child care. This is demonstrated by the unavailability:

(A) of appropriate child care within a reasonable distance from the individualís home or work site. A reasonable distance is a distance determined and agreed upon by the parent and the social services specialist and is dependent upon the individual needs of the parent and child(ren);

(B) or unsuitability of informal child care provided by a relative or provided under other arrangements. Unsuitability of informal child care is an arrangement that does not:

(i) afford the child(ren) adequate care and supervision. Supervision of a child(ren) means the function of observing, overseeing, and guiding a child;
(ii) encourage social development or stimulate the child(ren)ís mental capabilities; and
(iii) afford the child(ren) a safe and stable environment that provides for learning opportunities.

Oregon

The parentís total travel time from home to the child care provider and workplace or JOBS activity will be no more than one hour either way unless a longer commute time is customary in the community.

Pennsylvania

A TANF client will have good cause for not participating in a work or work-related activity if travel time to the work-site, including travel time to the child care provider, is more than two hours, round-trip, by reasonably available public or private transportation.

Puerto Rico

Reasonable distance means that the child care provider is located within two hours in-between parents home and work activity, to and from.

Rhode Island

Is treated in the context of transportation under good cause in the conciliation process.

South Carolina

Reasonable distance is defined by the TANF agency as the fair and reasonable travel distance to a child day care facility that will not interrupt Family Independence participation. Parents must be given parental choice to select the child care facility that meets the needs of the child. Judgment of "reasonable distance" will be determined by the Supportive Services Specialists, in collaboration with the FI Case Manager.

South Dakota

The child care provider is located in close enough proximity to the parent home or workplace to allow children to be transported without risk of harm.

Tennessee

The distance from the participantís home to the child care arrangement is considered "reasonable" travel when the care location is within walking distance, or access to a personal, other private, or public transportation is known to be available to that parent.

Texas

A reasonable amount of time, as defined by each Workforce Development Board, for travel time one-way, using available transportation, from the parentís home to the child care providerís location and to the parentís work site.

Utah

Travel that requires a two-hour round trip unless the commute time for the community is generally longer.

Vermont

Within five miles of the caretakerís residence or within five miles of the caretakerís normal route to a program activity or employment.

Virginia

The travel time from the childís home to the child care provider and the work site is generally no more than one hour, based on transportation available to the parent.

Washington

One can reach the child care site without travel that exceeds normal expectations in oneís community.

West Virginia

Travel to access child care is not in excess of 60 minutes per day.

Wisconsin

Child care that is available within a reasonable geographic is a definition that is determined by the local W-2 agency. The definition for reasonable distance is dependent upon the amount of child care slots available within the service delivery area and the availability of public transportation within a local area to access these providers. Rural areas with no form of public transportation face different barriers to accessing distant child care providers as compared to urban areas. The W-2 agency and/or county/Tribal agency make the determination of reasonable distance by looking at the specific needs/barriers of the area.

If child care is not available within a reasonable geographic area, the family may choose to request in-home child care. The provider coming into the childís home will be required to be certified in order to receive the child care assistance subsidy payment.

Reasonable distance, as defined for a TANF cash grant recipient, means no more than 60 minutes travel time one-way, using available transportation, from the parentís home to the child care providerís location to the parentís work site. Travel time may be extended up to 90 minutes one-way if there is a good placement opportunity for the participant and the participant is willing to enter into this arrangement.

Wyoming

The distance from home to work does not exceed two hours per day, not including the transportation of a child to and from a child care facility.

 

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Definition of "Unsuitability Of Informal Care"

 

State

Definition of "unsuitability of informal care"

Alabama

TANF policy considers informal child care to be suitable only to the extent such care is provided within the constraints of applicable Federal and State laws, regulations and requirements.

Alaska

Unsuitability of informal child care constitutes a provider who is not willing to care for the participantís child, does not appear to have the ability to care for children of the same age and developmental level as the participantís child, and is not located within 30 minutes travel time by public or private transportation from the participantís home or activity site.

Arizona

Child care that is available through a relative provider, but the recipient declares in writing that the provider is inappropriate based on factors such as, that the relative provider: a) Has a history of child neglect or abuse; b) Is experiencing domestic violence; c) Has a history of serious crime; d) Is a drug abuser; e) Has an emotional, mental or physical condition that prevents the relative from providing safe care; or f) Resides in a home that is unsafe for children.

Arkansas

Care that does not meet the developmental needs of the child or care that has been determined not to be in the best interest of the child or parent.

California

Informal child care is unsuitable when the caregiver cannot be TrustLined in accordance with the TrustLine regulations or would otherwise be denied payment for child care services that are exempt from licensure because of a violent felony conviction.

Colorado

Care provided in a legally exempt setting that endangers the health or safety of the child or that hinders the growth and development of the child, as defined by the county in the approved county Colorado Works and Child Care Assistance Plan.

Connecticut

 

Delaware

Informal care that would not meet the physical or psychological needs of the child.

District of Columbia

Unsuitable Informal Child Care is care that is not licensed or does not meet the programmatic criteria as included in the executed provider agreement with the Office of Early Childhood Development. Informal Child Care is defined as care provided by relative or in-home providers who are selected by the parents. Such Providers must have an Official Provider Agreement with the Parent and the Office of Early Childhood Development along with current health certificates for themselves and the child(ren) in their care.

Florida

 

Georgia

Care that does not meet Stateís minimum health and safety standards.

Hawaii

1) A provider who is not at least 18 years old; 2) Being a perpetrator of child abuse or has members of his/her household who have been perpetrators of abuse; and/or 3) Is unable to meet the minimum health and safety requirements established by the Lead Agency.

Idaho

Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis by a reasonable person concept. Reasonable person is defined as whether the conduct would be that of a reasonable prudent person in the same similar circumstances.

Illinois

Arrangements with family or friends to provide child care that does not meet the childís needs, are unreliable, and/or violate applicable State or local laws and regulations.

Indiana

Care that has resulted in abuse or neglect of a child or care that is subject to licensure requirements, but is not licensed.

Iowa

Child care for approved PROMISE JOBS components is provided at no cost, except for the Monitored Employment component that may include a co-pay. Copayments are based upon a sliding fee schedule through the Child Care and Development Fund in accordance with 441--IAC 130.4(234, 239B).

Kansas

Care for which SRS would not enter into a Provider Agreement : i.e., a relative with an unwillingness to care for child; age inappropriateness; documentation of family services/protective services case histories.

Kentucky

Care, not regulated under Kentucky law, which does not meet the quality child care need as defined by the parent or the health and safety requirements applicable to unregulated child care in the Commonwealth.

Louisiana

Child care is unavailable or unsuitable if basic health and safety standards are not met.

Maine

Unsuitable child care is defined as a potential child care provider that has a substantiated complaint(s) involving abuses or neglect, or a background check with the State Bureau of Investigation and/or the Department of Motor Vehicles that indicates convictions that would justify the denial of the application to receive child care payments.

Maryland

Informal care that does not meet the standards as stated in Section 6.3.3 of the Plan, State law and Code of Maryland Regulations governing the child care subsidy program, including not posing a risk to the health and safety of the child.

Massachusetts

 

Michigan

 

Minnesota

The provider does not meet standards regarding health and safety of the child that would be applied to legal, nonlicensed providers.

Mississippi

Reasons for unavailable or unsuitable child care shall be reported by the parent to the case manager. Complaints involving abuse, neglect, must be reported to the Mississippi State Department of Health, Division of Child Care Licensure.

Missouri

Families are not required to accept care with providers who are not licensed or registered. There are certain circumstances that may exist that will deem a child care provider as "inappropriate" or "unsuitable" to a parent. Examples of such care are as follows:

Child care provided by religious-exempt facilities when the parent states it infringes upon the familyís beliefs; and
Child care provided by any caregiver when the parent states that their child is at risk of abuse or neglect.

Montana

Care that does not meet applicable State licensing standards, although it may be the parentís choice.

Nebraska

Unpaid care or personally arranged care by a friend or relative that would be unsafe or harmful to the child.

Nevada

Informal child care is unsuitable if it is not being provided legally, or does not meet basic health and safety standards as outlined in county ordinances and/or State statutes.

Informal child care is unsuitable if the arrangements do not support the working schedule of a parent, are not affordable, not easily accessible, or do not meet quality standards as defined by the parent.

New Hampshire

The child care provider is licensed-exempt and was not able to successfully pass the background check required in RSA 170E:7 related to State registry and criminal records check. Or the child care provider was not able to meet the conditions specified in Employment-related Child Care Program Rules HE6910.05(d)(13).

New Jersey

Informal child care is defined as "Approved Home Caregivers in New Jersey." It is unsuitable if the provider cannot meet the minimum requirements as defined by the DFD. The minimum requirements for approval of the home are an inspection of the home using the "Self-Arranged Care Inspection and Interview Checklist," and standard interview procedure with the provider and family members.

New Mexico

Informal child care shall be deemed to be unsuitable when CYFD has determined that the care and supervision does not meet the minimum health and safety standards established by CYFD.

Those arrangements that are subsidized by CYFD, or those arrangements that are not subsidized and are made directly with a facility or an individual by the parent of the caretaker, taking into account parental or caretaker choice.

New York

Unsuitability of informal care means the physical condition of the home or the physical or mental condition of the informal provider would be detrimental to the health, welfare and/or safety of the applicable child(ren).

North Carolina

The unsuitability of an unlicensed child care arrangement is determined on a case-by-case basis. An informal child care provider is considered "unsuitable" for a particular family if one of the following exists:

The unlicensed child care arrangement does not meet the health, safety, and criminal record check standards required of unlicensed providers to receive subsidy reimbursements from the State; or
A parent does not want his/her child(ren) cared for by the unlicensed child care provider.

North Dakota

Child care is unobtainable at a location such that the usual commuting time from the parentsí home to the location at which child care is provided, and on the parentsí worksite is one hour or less.

Ohio

This is a decision by the parent or a child protective service agency based on findings during investigation of an abuse or neglect complaint.

Oklahoma

The illness or incapacity of the participant or any household member who cannot give self-care and for whom special care is unavailable;
A court-required appearance or incarceration of the participant;
The participantís attendance at parent and teacher conferences;
A family crisis or markedly changed individual or family circumstances;
The unavailability of planned transportation when needed or the inability to arrange for transportation;
The occurrence of inclement weather that prevented the participant, and other persons similarly situated, from traveling to, or participating in, the prescribed activity;
The lack of necessary social services or work activity;
The assignment or job referral does not meet the appropriate criteria as defined in OAC 340:10-2-3 (d);
The refusal to accept major medical services even if such refusal precludes participation in the program;
Racial, ethnic, religious, sexual, or age discrimination or harassment by employer or other employees;
A participant is engaged in another work activity that is consistent with the employability plan;
The lack of available treatment in the community for substance abuse or mental health issues affecting the family; or
Crisis intervention due to domestic violence issues.

Oregon

DHS uses the same standards for informal care as for regulated care. Care that does not meet the criteria described in "appropriate child care" would be considered unsuitable.

Pennsylvania

Any care is unsuitable/inappropriate if it is reasonably expected to result in physical or serious emotional harm to the child.

Puerto Rico

Unsuitability of informal child care means that provider does not meet the minimum requirements established by the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF). For example: health, safety, and negative criminal history, among others.

Rhode Island

Is defined as care that does not meet the standards for providers as specified in Section 0850:03.02 of the DHS Code of Rhode Island Rules.

South Carolina

Informal child care arrangements must meet the needs and parental choice rights of the FI participant. Informal child care arrangements must comply with policy and procedures developed by the Department of Health and Human Services, ABC Child Care Voucher System. To address health and safety issues, a Self-Arranged Child Care Certification form must be completed by all informal providers and reviewed by the Supportive Services Specialist. The FI participant will complete the informal facility checklist addressing the informal caregiverís ability to care for child(ren).

South Dakota

The provision of informal care is determined unsuitable when the health and safety or developmental needs of children are at risk.

Tennessee

Informal or unregulated care is unsuitable that does not accommodate the parentís work schedule or her need for reliability. The provider who does not meet the Stateís minimal requirements for appropriate character or capability to provide safe care is considered unsuitable. Also, the care setting that does not meet the Stateís minimal requirements for health and safety is considered unsuitable.

Texas

Any informal child care that does not meet the above definition of appropriate child care, or is deemed inappropriate by the parent, is considered to be "unsuitable."

Utah

A care setting chosen by the parent that is operating illegally as defined by Utah law or setting where substantiated evidence of child abuse exists.

Vermont

If the only available child care is with a legally exempt child care provider, the parent or caretaker is not required to use it.

Virginia

The child care arrangement does not meet the requirements for relative care in the Virginia Department of Social Servicesí Child Care Services policy.

Washington

By implication, anything that is not allowable as a reimbursable child care option as defined in WAC 388-290-850 would constitute unsuitable informal child care and could not be reimbursed with CCDF funding.

West Virginia

Determination is made on a case-by-case basis. Family Support Specialist has discretion to determine unsuitability.

Wisconsin

In order to receive Wisconsin Shares child care subsidy, the provider must be a licensed or certified provider.

Licensing is administered at the State level through the Department of Health and Family Services. Licensing includes extensive health and safety standards, staff qualification standards, and ongoing monitoring.

Providers who are not required to be licensed are required to be certified in order to receive Wisconsin Shares child care subsidy. Certification is intended to ensure basic protections for children when public funds pay for child care. Certfication standards include criminal record checks, references, basic health and safety standards, and on-site home visits to ensure compliance with standards.

Child care providers are not required to be certified in order to be reimbursed for:

1. The short-term care arrangement for a mildly ill child who is not able to receive care from a regularly authorized regulated child care provider; and
2. The short-term care for a child when the regularly authorized regulated child care provider has an emergency due to illness or other circumstances and is unable to care for the child.

Wyoming

Child care that does not meet minimum health and safety requirements or fails to pass the Central Registry and criminal history prescreen check.

 

Image of horizontal red colored lines, used to seperate topic sections.

Definition of "Affordable Child Care Arrangements"

 

State

Definition of "affordable child care arrangements"

Alabama

TANF policy does not require recipients to engage in work activities unless child care is accessible and the Department subsidizes the cost of the care. The policy does not subject such recipients to a sanction or other penalty unless these criteria are met.

Alaska

Affordable child care arrangements are defined at AS 47.27.035 as care for which the family has sufficient income or access to assistance through a subsidy program.

Arizona

Child care that is available when the cost of care is equal to or less than the amount that DES will pay.

Arkansas

Quality care provided at no charge to the family for the first year after the familyís TANF case closes due to employment assures affordable care. The sliding fee scale is applied after the first year.

California

Affordable child care is child care where the cost to the family does not exceed the regional market rate plus family fees established by the State in accordance with the family fee schedule.

Colorado

Care for which the cost to the parent does not exceed 14% of the familyís earned income, and as may be further defined in the county Colorado Works and Child Care Assistance Plan.

Connecticut

 

Delaware

Care that would provide access to a full range of child care categories and types of providers and that would meet the need of most children and their parents.

District of Columbia

Affordable Child Care Arrangements are terms of agreement between the parents and the provider that meet the needs of the parents and the child(ren) by using the Child Care Subsidy with the providers in the District of Columbia. Parents can obtain care for their child(ren) using the available subsidy, as long as they are participating with the District of Columbiaís extensive provider system, which includes all categories of care (infants, preschoolers, school-age), in all wards. The subsidy is available through the Office of Early Childhood Development.

The Office of Early Childhood Development will include in its TANF participant packet information about the exception to the individual penalties associated with the work requirement for any single custodial parent who has a demonstrated inability to obtain needed child care for a child under 6 years of age. The Office of Early Childhood Development provides TANF participant packets to IMA/TANF agency staff, the 10 TANF vendors and the Welfare-to-Work Team focusing on TANF long-stayers. In addition, this information will be incorporated into the Eligibility Manual, Eligibility Training Institutes for Child Care Providers, and the Office of Early Childhood Development staff, at one of our full staff monthly meetings.

Florida

 

Georgia

Care in which the State participates at a minimum of 50% of the cost of care for the family and the provider accepts up to the maximum DFCS rate.

Hawaii

Child care with a copayment for parents of no more than 20% of the Lead Agencyís maximum child care payment rate.

Idaho

Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis by a reasonable person concept. Reasonable person is defined as whether the conduct would be that of a reasonable prudent person in the same similar circumstances.

Illinois

Child care that is free or eligible for payment by the department and that does not exceed the Departmentís maximum rate for the type of care.

Indiana

Any care that is totally subsidized by the agency as TANF recipients are not expected to pay anything for child care.

Iowa

A child care center who has not completed the licensing process or a nonregistered child care provider who cannot pass child abuse or criminal record checks or who cannot meet the minimum health and safety requirements for nonregistered child care home providers.

Kansas

The ability of a family to pay the costs of care through sufficient income or assistance through the child care subsidy program.

Kentucky

Appropriate child care, at a reasonable distance, which is suitable and charges at or below the maximum provider payment rate under the CCDF Plan.

Louisiana

Child care is unavailable if affordable child care costs exceed established maximum limits for State-administered child care program.

Maine

Affordable child care is defined by the child care market rates that are determined every two years by the Community Services Center of the Maine Department of Human Services.

Maryland

Those arrangements for which the parent fee charged by the provider is less than or equal to the assigned copayment for a non-TANF family of the same size and income level who receives a subsidy.

Massachusetts

 

Michigan

 

Minnesota

The provider does not charge in excess of the maximum amount the county is allowed to pay, as established in a rate schedule set each year by the Department of Children, Families and Learning.

Mississippi

Child care that is equal to or less than established rates for the type of care according to the attached Office of Children and Youth Tier Reimbursement Chart.

Missouri

Available child care is affordable when the cost of care does not exceed 10% of a familyís gross income less medical insurance premiums. This 10% includes a familyís sliding fee and any additional copayment a family is required to pay. This 10% does not include Federal, State, or local child care subsidy.

Montana

The total parental (caretaker relative or person acting in loco parentis) copayment and "above and beyond" obligation does not exceed 25% of gross family income.

Nebraska

Care at no cost to the client.

Nevada

Affordable child care is child care that does not exceed 10% to 15% of the parentís gross income.

New Hampshire

Affordable child care arrangements ensure equal access and can be maintained without undue financial hardship to the family.

New Jersey

Are those that do not exceed the DHS maximum child care reimbursement rates.

New Mexico

Arrangements that are subsidized by CYFD, or those arrangements that are not subsidized and are made directly with a facility or an individual by the parent or caretaker, taking into account parental or caretaker choice.

New York

Affordable means the parent or caretaker relative would have sufficient income to pay the parent share for the child care services if required according to State regulations and/or to pay the cost of care above the market rate, if applicable. If the potential provider is a caregiver of informal child care who would be providing care in the child(ren)ís home, affordable also means that the parent or caretaker relative would have sufficient income to provide the caregiver with all the required Federal and State employment benefits.

North Carolina

When a child care subsidy is available to the family, the child care is deemed affordable.

North Dakota

Child care is unobtainable, from a child care provider licensed or registered under North Dakota Century Code chapter 5011.1, at a rate equal to or less than 1.1 times the market rate survey average rate for child care provided to children of the age of the parentsí child in the region in which the parent lives.

Ohio

All OWF (TANF) participants are guaranteed eligibility for child care subsidy with copayments based on family size, income and number of children receiving subsidized child care.

Oklahoma

 

Oregon

Are those where the expense to the parent is 10% or less of family income for families at 120% of Federal Poverty Level or lower.

Pennsylvania

Any care that costs less than or equal to the Departmentís established child care daily maximum allowances for payment of child care services.

Puerto Rico

Payment rates are based on a local market survey and copayments are less than average rates.

Rhode Island

FIP recipients pay no copayment to providers.

South Carolina

Affordable child care arrangements are determined by a market rate survey conducted for the Department of Health and Human Services.

South Dakota

Affordable child care arrangements ensure equal access and can be maintained without undue financial hardship to the family.

Tennessee

Affordable care is considered that care provided by those agencies and individuals who are participating in the Stateís certificate-subsidy program and with whom the arrangement was selected by the parent.

Texas

Child care arrangements that fall within the maximum rates established by each local Workforce Development Board. Parents of TANF recipients are exempt from copay.

Utah

An available provider in the community whose charge for services does not exceed the LMR established at the 75th percentile.

Vermont

Child care arrangements that require a copayment of no more than 10% of parentsí income.

Virginia

The cost of the child care is less than or equal to the payment amounts specified in the Virginia Department of Social Servicesí Child Care Services policy.

Washington

At or below your share of the child care costs ("copayment") calculated by the Working Connections Child Care Program.

West Virginia

Can access and be eligible for child care subsidy (CCDF).

Provider (regulated or informal) is eligible to receive child care subsides.

Wisconsin

Individual county/Tribal maximum weekly rates are established for licensed group and licensed family child care providers by surveying these providers for their prices each fall. Individual county/Tribal maximum payment rates are established for two age groups: under two, and ages 2-12. For licensed care, weekly rates are established as well as hourly rates for part-time care. Reimbursement rates authorized to child care providers are calculated using these maximum rates, and compare these maximum rates to the providers reported weekly price for the individual age groups. Reimbursement is authorized on either a weekly enrollment rate or an hourly rate based on actual attendance.

Maximum rates are established to cover the cost of care for at least 75% of the slots available within each county/Tribe for licensed group and licensed family child care. This affords the family a wide choice of child care provider arrangements within each category of care whose prices are within the maximum rate.

Wyoming

An available child care provider in the community whose charge for services does not exceed the local market rate established at the 75th percentile.

 

 

Additional Information

A list of State Child Care Home pages may be found on the National Child Care Information Center (NCCIC) website at:
http://nccic.org/statedata/dirs/statehp.html

See Also

Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF)

Child Care Acronyms and Abbreviations

Child Care Technical Assistance Network (CCTAN)

Child Care Lead Agency

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

Source

Information for this topic was drawn from the NCCIC website at:
http://nccic.org/pubs/stateplan/


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