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DHS child care subsidy program

Working families whose income is below 185% of the Federal Poverty Level may be eligible for financial help with child care costs. This child care subsidy program is called Employment Related Day Care (ERDC).*

* Note: Families receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Food Stamps can receive help with child care when it is needed for part-time employment or to participate in the JOBS program. This would need to be arranged with the family's TANF or Food Stamps Caseworker.

The ERDC program can be used to help pay for most kinds of child care. The child care provider must be at least 18 years of age, pass criminal and child abuse records checks, and meet health and safety standards. This is called the "listing process." The provider completes a "Provider Listing Form", and sends it to the state. Once the provider is listed, the state sends monthly billing forms to the provider before the start of each month. After the care is given, the provider completes the billing form and sends to the state for payment.

Each family has one co-payment determined by family size and income. The family pays the co-payment directly to the family's primary provider. DHS limits the amount they will pay a child care provider. If the cost of care exceeds those rates, the parent is responsible for the additional costs, as well as the co-payment. If the co-payment is higher than the amount DHS will pay, the family is not eligible for assistance.

To become eligible, parents must:

  • complete an ERDC application form link opens in a new window
  • meet income guidelines and supply income verification
  • have children under 12 years of age who need care (Older children can receive care if special circumstances require it.)
  • need child care to remain employed

This process can be completed without coming into the office. The application can be mailed in and an interview conducted over the phone. To apply, contact the local DHS office.

You can also call your local Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R). They can answer questions about the application process in your area, and give you general information about the ERDC income limit and copay structure.

For the phone number of your local CCR&R, call 1 800-342-6712.