Low income Georgia families with children can receive subsidies and financial aid from the Childcare and Parent Services (CAPS) program. It was created in an effort to help low income and working poor families locate and pay for quality child care.
The state has implemented a number of qualifications that need to be met by applicants. Not only will they need to meet low income guidelines, but the parent must either be working or attending some form of job training. Any assistance offered is in the form of a partial payment or subsidy. It is intended to help the family pay their expenses while the parent regains self-sufficiency through employment and an increased income. Your local Georgia county Department of Family and Children Services processes applications.
Other condition include the applicant needs to of course be a resident of Georgia. The child needs to be under the age of 13, or 18 if they are disabled. The CAPS program can subsidize the cost of your child care bills. Any assistance is also only offered for legal residents or US citizens.
Guardians or parents may qualify to receive this subsidized child care if they are attending school, need child care to work, or are actively participating in training. There may some minimum hourly commitments as well when it comes to the school or job training.
The state will allow participants to choose their own child or day care provider. After this is done, Georgia will reimburse the child care provider up to a certain dollar amount. You need to be sure to select someone that is authorized by the CAPs program.
Families will also need to share in the cost of paying for the care. Participants will need to pay a fee based on their family size, their total household income and also the number of children receiving subsidies. Individuals will need to pay their portion of any fees directly to the child care provider in order to stay enrolled.
All funding for CAPS/Childcare and Parent Services comes from either the state or federal government. There are years when that funding can be reduced or maybe even increased. Regardless, resources are limited, only a limited number of people can be assisted, and there is also often a waiting list. Only families that satisfy the priority qualifications will be eligible for services once funding has become available.
To receive a subsidy, when choosing a Child Care Provider, you need to ensure they meet CAPS program requirements. The state can provide lists of those and case managers can work with families on this process. Applicants will also need to ensure that they are authorized to operate by the state child care licensing agency.
Availability of funds is limited. There is just never enough government money allocated to serve all of the low income families in Georgia who need help with child care and who are eligible. This lack of resources has lead to increasing numbers of families and children on the waiting list. Therefore, as families move and/or drop out of the CAPS program, or as additional government grants become available, those people on the waiting list are contacted by representatives from the Georgia program. It is difficult, if not impossible, to predict how long a family on the list may wait, but the state does its best.
To learn more, dial 1-877-255-4254. Or you can apply online. If you call the toll free number, families will speak to highly staff trained and customer service representatives. They can provide information, referrals, and help callers connect with approved child care providers in their part of the state. They will access databases to find sites that are convenient to your home or work. Of course they will also find providers that fall within the family’s budget as the participant will still need to pay a portion of their costs.
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