BEST BEGINNINGS CHILD CARE SCHOLARSHIP

What is the Best Beginnings Child Care Scholarship Program?

The Best Beginnings Child Care Scholarships an income based scholarship that’s available to qualifying families to help cover the cost of child care for families whose child receives care from a licensed child care facility of family, friend and neighbor (FFN).

The Best Beginnings Child Care Scholarship Program helps families pay for child care when parents are not available to care for their children:

• During work hours
• During school hours
• If they are a teen parent attending high school
• If they are a parent receiving TANF who is participating in family investment

child care

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS OVERVIEW

For the non-TANF program the family must be meeting certain criteria to qualify.  They must be working or going to school, and be income eligible.  Additionally, if there are any biological parents that do not live in the household with the children, Best Beginnings Scholarship applicants must have an open and compliant child support case, Judge signed parenting plan or approved good cause. There are, of course, unique situation and we encourage these families to contact us to discuss their situation.

Families must be meeting child support requirement.
To qualify for Best Beginnings Child Care Scholarship, you must have an open and compliant child support case, a Judge signed Parenting Plan stipulating child support or approved Good Cause for all children in the household under the age of 18 with an absent parent.

Parents must be participating in eligible activities:
• Two-parent families shall work at least 120 hours per month.
• Single-parent families shall work at least 60 hours per month.
• Single parent or two-parent families in which all of the parents attend school/training full time, do not have to meet a work requirement.
• Single parent or two-parent families in which one or more of the parents attend school/training part time shall meet a work requirement that takes into account the education/training.
• Teen parents must be attending high school or a high school equivalency program.

Families must be income eligible, meaning their gross monthly income must be at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or be receiving cash assistance through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.

In non-TANF households where one or both parents are absent from the home, the parent or guardian with whom the child resides must cooperate with Child Support Enforcement Division, have a court-approved parenting plan in place, be receiving court-ordered child support, or have been approved by their local CCR&R to have good cause for not cooperating with Child Support Enforcement.  This requirement is for all children under the age of 18 in the home with an absent parent.

Each family is responsible for paying a copay.  As a result of temporary pandemic funding, all of the families who qualify for the Best Beginnings Child Care Scholarship will see their copayments set to $10 per month. When pandemic recovery funding ends, copayments will again be determined based on a family’s gross monthly income and family size, and will be between 1% and 14% of your monthly income before deductions such as taxes or benefits. The copayment is a monthly payment that is paid directly to your licensed child care provider. All copayments must be received by the child care provider in order for eligibility to continue at the time of your annual renewal. Child care providers set their own rates.  They may charge above the maximum State reimbursement rate.  Families are responsible for any amount over and above the state reimbursement rates and any registration or activity fees not paid by the Best Beginnings Child Care Scholarship.

Additional Information: If your family is currently receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, TANF, Best Beginnings Child Care Scholarship may be available to you.  Please contact your TANF worker to see if you would be eligible.

Has special needs been identified for your child/children?  There is a Special Needs Subsidy that may be able to provide additional funds to your child care provider to meet the needs of your child/children once you have been approved for the Best Beginnings Child Care Scholarship.  For more information, please contact our office.

For more information about the Best Beginnings Child Care Scholarship, or to apply for the program, contact Stephanie at 406-756-1414 ext. *222 or 800-204-0644 or click the link below.