What Does a Childcare Program Have to Do to Become Eligible for the State Voucher Program?


Quick Answer

State childcare vouchers subsidize childcare for low-income parents while they work, look for work or go to school. The money most states use for vouchers comes at least partially from a federally funded program, and each state has its own system for deciding what childcare programs may participate. The only federal requirement of specific programs is that they are legal to operate in the state.

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Full Answer

The federal Child Care and Development Fund is run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, but it is implemented at the state level, and each state has broad discretion when it comes to deciding who is eligible for the subsidy and which childcare facilities may be paid using the vouchers. Requirements for licensing vary by state, and since the only federal requirement is that a childcare provider operates legally in that state, there is a broad range of requirements for childcare providers to participate in the voucher program.

Contact the individual state's childcare regulating agency to find out what a childcare provider must do to operate legally in that state and become eligible to receive vouchers through the state-run federal CCDF program. Child care vouchers are either given to the parents or paid directly to the childcare provider.

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