Iowa may be able to help parents pay for their child care costs. There are several conditions to the program, funding is limited, and a waiting list is often in place. In general, Child Care Assistance, or CCA, is available for income-eligible parents with young children provided the parent is employed, in school, searching for employment, or enrolled into so some form of job training. Payments for your child care bills may also provided to Iowa residents who receive Family Investment Program (FIP) assistance or that are approved under the PROMISE JOBS program. Additional details on the program and contact information is below.
You can still get Child Care Assistance even if you aren’t enrolled into FIP. In this case, the parent will still need to meet the income guidelines that are in place. They also need to meet other conditions that are listed on this page, such as being employed, in job training, or school full time. Or if you currently take part in activities approved by the Iowa PROMISE JOBS program, you will need to call your PROMISE JOBS social worker in order to get information or apply.
Child Care Assistance can help pay for the care of your infant or child while the parent or even their caretaker attends school or works. It can also help pay your bills while a parent or caretaker is looking for work or is unable to care for children because of medical reasons. So there are some different scenarios that are covered by the program.
There are some exceptions made in certain conditions as well. Assistance may also be available to parents for a limited period of time under a couple of other conditions. This will be when the parent that normally cares for the child is unable to do so due to hospitalization, if the parent is actively looking for employment, or if the caretaker is being treated for mental illness or some type of physical issue. Another exception is available, and this is when child care services may be made available for a child with protective needs, and this is an option without regard to their income.
Families may be able to get help from the Iowa Child Care Assistance program if they fall into one or more of the categories above. In addition, they need to have a child who is under the age of 13. That age limit can be increased to 19 if the child has special needs or is disabled. If the parent is working, then it needs to be at minimum 28 hours per week. Or they need to be in a full time education program or approved job training.
The participant may select a child care provider from a variety of arrangements. They can choose among the following. Select a non-registered child care home, a before-and-after-school program, someone who cares for your children in your own home, a child care program operated by an accredited public or nonpublic school or a licensed child care center. Note that anyone you select will need to be approved by DHS in order to receive payment from the Iowa CCA program. If they are not approved then the state will not help pay your costs.
When selecting a caretaker, the provider you select must be at least 18 years old. They can’t be a guardian or parent of your child. The provider must meet certain requirements and they need to meet health and safety standards put into place by the state of Iowa. They also need to agree to allow you to visit your child when in care. If you are having difficulty in selecting or provider or if you are struggling in finding good child care close to your home or workplace, feel free to ask your Child Care Assistance worker for help. They can help people select an individual or business to provide this service.
To apply or learn more, stop by any Department of Human Services (DHS) office in your county. Or dial 866-448-4605. This is the number for the Centralized Child Care Assistance Eligibility Unit and they have staff that can answer questions. They also process applications, handle payments, deal with renewals, and really oversee the entire program.
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