Scott Gottlieb, CPA


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Melville, New York 11747

Office: 631-574-4484 or 631-253-CPA2
scott@gottliebcpa.com

 
 
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NEWS BYTES
July 2009


CHILD CARE SUBSIDES
from the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance



Child care subsidies are provided by social service districts to enable a parent or caretaker to work or engage in other approved activities. Child care subsidies helps parent(s)/caretaker(s) to pay some or all of the cost of child care services. Social services district can pay the cost of care up to the market rate.

There are three main categories of eligibility for receiving child care subsidies.

Category I - Guaranteed Child Care
Temporary Assistance applicants and recipients, who need child care assistance for a child under 13 years of age to participate in activities required by the social service district
Families who are applying for or are receiving Temporary Assistance and need child care to work; and who choose child care in lieu of Temporary Assistance
Families who were receiving Temporary Assistance, but became ineligible when their income increased due to employment or child support are eligible for transitional child care for up to 12 months

Category II - Families that are Eligible for Child Care When Funds Available in the Social Services District
Temporary Assistance family needing care for a child 13 and older who has special needs or is under court supervision, so that the parent/caretaker can work
Temporary Assistance family with an eligible child and a teen parent, or needing protection
Low income family, with a child under 13 years of age. (Family has an income up to 200% of the State income standard)
There are other categories of families that are eligible for child care subsidies when funds are available. Check with your social service district for complete list of eligible families.

Category III - Families that are Eligible When Funds Available and Included in the Social Services District Child and Family Services Plan
Temporary Assistance family with an eligible child in additional approved activities
Temporary Assistance family with an eligible child and sanctioned parent
Families receiving Temporary Assistance or income up to 200% of the State income standard needing to protect the eligible child
Family regardless of income with open child protective services case
Temporary Assistance families and families with income up to 200% of the State income standard, with an eligible child, attending programs beyond high school
Low income family with an eligible child attending approved activities
There are other categories of families that are eligible for child care subsidies when funds are available and included in the social service district Child and Family Services Plan. Check with your social service district for complete list of eligible families.

Financial Eligibility
Financial Eligibility for child care subsidies is based on the family size and the family’s gross annual income.

Family Size Maximum Income Ceiling 1, 2
1 $21,660
2 $29,140
3 $36,620
4 $44,100
5 $51,580
6 $59,060
Each additional member Add $7,480

1. 2008-09 figures - the eligibility levels are adjusted in June each year
2. Except for situations where child care is guaranteed, social service districts are allowed to serve families with lower incomes before serving those with higher incomes. If a social service district has insufficient funds to serve all eligible families they must serve those families based on the priorities they have established in their Child and Family Services Plan.

New York City, Nassau, Schenectady, Albany, Rensselaer, Oneida and Monroe County, have special funding projects, which allow these districts to provide child care subsidies to working families with incomes up to 275% of the state income standard.

Benefits
Payment for child care services is guaranteed to those families on Temporary Assistance (including those families that have chosen child care in lieu of Temporary Assistance,) who have children under the age of 13 when child care is necessary for them to work or participate in required work activities.

Transitional child care is guaranteed for 12 months to those families with incomes up to 200% of the state income standard (see chart above) who leave cash assistance because of earnings or increased child support, and to those who received child care because they were eligible for public assistance (but chose not to receive it), but who lost their eligibility for cash assistance because of increased earnings or child support. To qualify for transitional child care, a family must have been on family assistance for at least 3 out of the previous 6 months. For all others, eligibility is set at 200% of poverty as set forth above. However, because funds are limited, counties have the right to set priorities about who they will serve, leaving some eligible families without access to subsidized child care. All special eligibility rules for child care programs, are set forth in the social services district’s Child and Family Services Plan, which you can obtain by visiting the Office of Children and Family Services website.

The amount to be paid for child care is the actual cost of care up to the market rate. The market rate is set by the State. If your provider charges more than the market rate you will have to pay the difference. Social Services District provides child care subsidy assistance through purchase of service contracts or through cash, vouchers or reimbursement. Families in receipt of child care subsidies are required o pay a family share towards the cost of the child care. This family share is calculated on a sliding scale with the family’s share based on an income based formula with a percentage applied to the income above poverty chosen by the county. Families on Temporary Assistance are not required to pay a family share.

Under the New York State Child Care Block Grant, parents have the right to choose their own child care provider. If the provider has a contract with the social service district, parents do not have to pay any more than theirfamily share, regardless of the rate charged to non-subsidized parents. If the provider does not have a contract with the social service district and the provider charges more than the market rate the parent must pay the difference.

How to Apply
Applications for child care subsidy and information about eligibility may be obtained by contacting your social service district. If you live in New York City and you are on Temporary Assistance or applying for Temporary Assistance, call or visit your local Job Center. If you are applying only for child care assistance, call the New York City information helpline at 311 and they will direct you where to call. You must complete the application package and turn it in either in person nor by mail.

Information on the availability of child care providers can be obtained through the Office of Children and Family Services website or the Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agency in your county. To find the CCR&R agency in your county visit the New York State Early Care and Learning Council website.

 

 

 

 

1997-2009 Scott Gottlieb, CPA. All Rights Reserved.

Disclaimer/Use of Site

The materials on this Web site are for informational purposes only and are not intended and should not be construed as accounting advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, a CPA-Client relationship. You should not act upon this information without seeking counsel from a Certified Public Accountant