Indiana free child care assistance from the Development Fund.
Federal government grants are used to pay for the free Indiana CCDF Child Care and Development Fund. The objective it to help low income families, the working poor and parents pay their child care costs while they work, attend job training, or are in school. It is a self-sufficiency type program that is available for qualified residents of the state.
A number of conditions need to bet met by applicants, and the demand for this resource is very high. There is often a waiting list in place in order to enroll. Some of the conditions will be set by the state and others by your local county. However at the end of the day the main purpose of the CCDF program is to increase the availability, affordability, and quality of child care and the providers that operate in Indiana. Some of the highlights of the program are below.
After you apply, the individual will be notified whether they are accepted, denied, considered a priority, or placed onto a waiting list. Full documentation and support of the decision made will be provided to the applicant too. Since the government funding is so limited, more often than not a new applicant will be placed onto the waiting list.
Priority status is a term created by the State of Indiana. They took it upon themselves to organize the waiting list and the parents in question by these priorities. Examples of the buckets and categories people are assigned to include Child Protection Services (CPS) Foster Parents, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Disabled, Children with Special Needs, and someone with an extreme medical emergency.
The size and turnaround time of the waiting list really depends on federal government funding levels, the date your application was completed, as well as state priority status. So Indiana will not be able to communicate exactly how long someone may be on the list. It can also change on an almost daily basis. The only way a low income, otherwise qualified parent can receive vouchers without going through the waiting list process is by receiving a TANF/IMPACT referral. This needs to be issued to them from the Division of Family Resources. The parent needs to be a TANF/IMPACT client in order to qualify. Lastly, they also must be deemed eligible for a referral by their Indiana Family Case Coordinator.
Once you are entered into the free program, the applicant will receive an invitation letter from the state. As part of this process you will also receive a list of what you must bring to your appointment, as complete documentation is required in order to receive this child care voucher. The family also must have a licensed CCDF childcare provider that they want to use.
Resources and funding is very limited, the the child care can be free to qualified low income parents. Therefore child care vouchers are given on a first come first serve basis. No one from the community will be seen unless they have their invitation letter, which is referenced above. They also need to have all the paperwork listed on the letter or they may lose their opportunity to enroll.
Be sure you stay in contact with the state as you apply and even after you are accepted into the Care & Development Fund. Indiana’s Children's Bureau notifies those families that are on the waiting list that they are eligible for enrollment. So if the state can’t find you then you will miss out.
The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, which is part of the Division of Family Resources, administers the CCDF and the vouchers that are issued as part of it. The division also works closely with each local county government. There are several parameters for both local government and state levels that need to be satisfied. These include several eligibility requirements. To learn more or apply call 1-800-299-1627.