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Child Care Subsidy Program FAQ for Parents: Learn More About Eligibility for your Family!

What is the subsidized child care program?

The subsidized child care program is designed to assist eligible families with child care cost. The subsidy program will pay all or part of your child care costs directly to the child care provider. Please note, you may be required to pay a portion of child care costs based on your household income.

Where and how do I apply for Child Care Subsidy benefits?

You may apply for Child Care Subsidy benefits by visiting the Department of Human Services, Economic Security Administration, Child Care Services Division office during business hours. You may also apply directly at an authorized Level II Child Care Provider you have selected (facility must be authorized to complete intake).

After you complete and submit the Subsidized Child Care Service Application, you must schedule an interview with the Eligibility Worker at your initial intake site. During the interview, the Eligibility Worker will obtain a thorough understanding of all relevant eligibility factors for you and your family.

What ages does subsidized child care program serve?

The program serves eligible children from 6 weeks through 12 years. However, children with disabilities may qualify up to their 19th birthday.

What are the requirements and what verification documents do I need to provide in order to receive subsidized child care?

You must provide at least ONE document from each type of verification category.

Verification Category

Verification Documents

Identity of Applicant

  • Unexpired District of Columbia Driver's License
  • Unexpired Government ID
  • U.S. Passport
  • Current photo ID

Verification of Citizenship and Legal Status

  • Legal Permanent Resident Card
  • Unexpired I-94 or other immigrant registration card
  • Unexpired Visa

Verification of Countable Income

  • (2) Consecutively dated pay statements the last statement dated within 30 days of your Intake that show your name, date of pay and income before deductions
  • Statement from your employer dated within 30 days if newly employed or if your pay statements are downloaded or do not contain all needed information
  • Copy of last year's tax return, if self-employed

Verification of Other Income

  • Current benefit check or award letter dated within (30) days of the Intake
  • Copies of child support or alimony payment
  • Court order showing benefit amount

Need for Child Care

  • Work, training and/or school schedule for the child's parent(s) or guardian(s) living in the home. Proof of Child or Applicants Disability, if schedules vary, the documentation should reflect this.

Verification of Relationship between applicant and child receiving benefits

  • Documentation to verify Child to Natural Parent, court-appointed guardian, document of payment from TANF, or the Department of Corrections or another penal system assigning temporary custody of a child.
  • Birth Certificate-Includes name of parent applying for services
  • Hospital Record of Birth - Only for infants under 6 months, an official certificate must be supplied within (30) days
  • Referral from an authorized DC Government agency or its vendor.

Verification of Residency

  • Official rent receipt - on company form or letterhead
  • Evidence of home ownership - current mortgage payment
  • Lease or housing subsidy document
  • Utility bill - PEPCO, gas, water, home phone (cell phone or cable bill alone are not acceptable)
  • E-bills for utilities showing applicant name and current address along with two pieces of current mail
  • Notarized statement plus two pieces of mail;
  • Referral from a D.C. agency
  • Documentation no more than 30 days old of active TANF, Food Stamp or Medicaid benefits received by the applicant

What are my child care options?

  • Licensed Child Care Provider
  • Licensed Child Development Home
  • License Exempt In-home and Relative Care Provider

A child care provider can be found on or by contacting DC Child Care Connections:

Will there be any cost for the services?

You will be required to pay co-payments directly to the child care provider where your child is placed. The co-payments apply to the two oldest children receiving subsidy. You will receive the cost of your co-payment once you’ve been approved for services.

What is the maximum income allowed for subsidy benefits?

Child Care Subsidy Program Parent Fee Final Rules provides income eligibility limits. The income eligibility limits vary based on family size, the number of children in care and amount of income. Please contact the Department of Human Services, Child Care Services Division or an authorized Level II Child Care Provider to determine your specific eligibility category.

How long will it take to find out if my child care subsidy benefits are approved?

The earliest date child care subsidy benefits can be approved is the date that you complete the interview and provide all needed verification which includes the name of the child care provider you would like your child to attend. The Eligibility Worker must approve or deny your application at the time of your interview or will inform you if additional documentation is required.

Do I have to give the income from the other parent?

If you have a two-parent household, you are required to submit income information from both parents.  However, if one parent is absent from the household, the other parent must provide you with a notice of their contribution to the family. 

If I work on weekends, can I apply for subsidized child care?

Yes, you can request non-traditional child care with the Department of Human Services, Economic Security Administration, Child Care Services Division office by providing your activity schedule.

Can I enroll my children at different providers?

Yes, however, if you select multiple sites for your children the intake can only take place at the Department of Human Services, Economic Security Administration, Child Care Services Division office.

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