Choosing a child care provider
As the parent, you choose your child care provider. Finding quality, stable child care can take time and effort, but it’s an important thing to do. When you’re confident your child is getting quality care, you’ll feel better about leaving your child while you are at work. Your children should feel comfortable with their child care provider and get the attention they need.
Tips for choosing your child care provider
Quality child care means:
- It is safe for your children.
- It helps your child grow and learn.
- You can count on it when you need it.
Lower copays for families using a quality star rated provider starting Sept. 1, 2016
Families who have chosen a quality star rated provider will have a lower copay each month. A star rating shows that the provider has taken the training needed to help children get ready for school and be successful once they have started school.
Families can qualify by choosing a provider who has received a 3, 4 or 5 star rating on the Oregon Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS). The lower copay starts the month after the Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) case is connected to a star rated provider. You must report when you change your child care provider within 10 days.
You can get help in finding quality child care by contacting 211Info. 211Info can help parents with the questions to ask child care providers, so you can make the best choice for your family. You can reach 211Info Monday through Friday 7:00 am to 11:00 pm or Saturday and Sunday 8:00 am to 8:00 pm:
Exciting tools for parents with young children!
Vroom – Brain Building Moments
- Vroom is an early learning plan with tools that help parents with young children in their first five years of life to develop the foundation of learning. Download Vroom’s app or get Science & Facts or Tools & Activities
. These tools and activities give ideas on how to interact with a child to stimulate brain function.
It’s important to make sure your provider has been approved for payment from DHS before they begin caring for your child(ren). The provider must meet all DHS requirements including passing criminal history and child protective services background checks. DHS will not pay for child care that is supplied before a provider has DHS approval.
Reporting child care information
Report your child care provider information to your worker. The provider will get a billing form after they are approved and connected to your case in DHS records. Your provider needs to have the billing form before providing care. If the provider does not get the form, you should check with your worker.
The form will show:
- The time period authorized for child care
- The names of eligible children in your family,
- The number of child care hours authorized by DHS, and
- Your copay amount.
- After all child care is provided for the month, your provider will fill out the billing form and ask you to sign it.
- Check to make sure the number of hours listed on the form is correct. These hours may include up to five absent days
- Do not sign a blank form. When you sign the DHS billing form, you’re agreeing with the charges your provider has put on the form. If DHS pays your provider for time your child was not in care, you may have to repay that money to DHS.
- Once the form is signed, the provider then mails it to DHS. DHS pays the provider directly. You’ll get a notice telling you how much DHS paid.
If the billing form needs a correction, contact your worker immediately to make changes.
There is a limit to how much DHS will pay for your child care.
- The time you are at work,
- Your meal time while working, and
- Travel time between child care and work.
There are maximum hourly and monthly rates that DHS will pay for child care. See the maximum rates for your area. If your provider charges more than these rates, you are responsible for the extra cost. This is in addition to your copay.
Making the most of your child care assistance
You are responsible for paying your copay to your child care provider each month. When you pay, make sure to get a receipt from the provider. If you don’t pay your copay, you will not be eligible for the program. You may be able to make other copay arrangements with your provider such as “bartering” (exchanging services for child care). If you do, be sure to get the agreement in writing.
You will be required to report some changes to your worker. Your worker will explain what needs to be reported. There are different forms needed at specific intervals to keep your benefits active. When you receive a form in the mail from DHS requesting updated information you must complete and return the form to continue receiving benefits.