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Child care assistance programs in West Virginia.

Throughout West Virginia there are a number of Child Care Resource and Referral agencies. They provide assistance and subsidies with paying for child care costs. The program is focused on those low income parents that need help while they work, attend school, or enroll into some form of job training.

The program was created in an effort to improve the accessibility, affordability, and quality of child care services that are available. The focus is on supporting low income families and the less fortunate who are working towards self-sufficiency. Agencies across the state process applications and can provide information to those who need it.

West Virginia will only pay for a portion of the clients costs. The financial assistance provided will cover the majority of the expenses for their child care. In general, it is available for children from lower income families while parents work, attend training, or who are otherwise unable to provide care on their own. So a subsidy may be offered for parents who are disabled. In addition, West Virginia can also educate residents on selecting appropriate child care providers and they can refer parents to places that offer safe and affordable day care.

Providers can also receive assistance. The program also promotes safe environments that will ensure that the social, physical, emotional, and intellectual growth of children are met. Staff are heavily involved in regulating the companies, persons or programs that care for children age birth to 13. Teenagers and children up to the age of 18 can also receive help if they are disabled or have some type of special needs.

When applying, a number of income and other conditions need to be met by applicants. These can change over time based on government funding levels and other parameters. Some of them may include the following.

  • The parent or their guardian needs to be actively working. They also need to be employed a minimum number of hours per week. Subsidies will only help pay the bills for the period of time that the parent is working as well.
  • If the applicant is not working, assistance may be offered if they are in school or training for a position. This can include GED classes, college course, or receiving some type of certification. Similar to above in that financial assistance is only available for paying a portion of their costs while they are in that training activity or class.
  • The parent can be in a combination of above. So they can be working and in school at the same time.
  • Assistance is only offered for those that meet income guidelines. While the cut offs can change over time, currently West Virginia families are generally eligible for financial assistance or subsidies if their income meets certain federal government poverty guidelines. Eligible income levels will be adjusted for family size. Most families in the state are still required to pay a portion of the cost of their day care bills.
  • Teenagers and younger adults cam apply for a subsidy as well. Reimbursements may be offered if the teenager is attending high school, remedial education, GED classes, or some form of vocational training. The teenagers needs to remain in school or the class in question in order to continue to receive the West Virginia subsidized child care.
  • Support is also available if the parent is unable or unavailable to provide care for children due to a disability or similar condition. This can be from a mental, physical or emotional condition. West Virginia may support those households as well.





In most cases, West Virginia will not pay your entire bill and parents still need to contribute towards the cost as well. This partial payment is known as a subsidy arrangement.

Parents have the ability to select their own day care provider too. They need to chose someone that has been approved in West Virginia. This can include a private company, after school provider, or even approved family members such as uncles. If you need help in locating a safe and approved day care provider, staff from the Child Care Resource and Referral agencies can help with that as well.

Applying for free daycare in West Virginia

More information can be reached by calling Health and Human resources at (304) 352-4431, (304) 485-2668, or (304) 622-652. Another number is 1-800-352-6513. Or call a local child care resource agency or social service organization in your county.

By Jon McNamara


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