JFS Issues Childcare Newsletter

In part three of an exclusive 2018 Newsymom.com series, Tuscarawas County Job & Family Services shares information on local childcare programs, assistance and a need for more providers.

There is a drive for more parents/caretakers to work which leads to needing child care. Every year our caseloads continue to rise which increases the need for providers. There are opportunities for many to become licensed child care providers with plenty of clients to grow your business quickly.

How to Apply for Childcare Assistance:

You must be attending school or working to even qualify for child care assistance. To apply for child care assistance you may do so by calling the child care department at Job and Family Services and request an application be sent to you or you may fill one out here at the agency. To determine eligibility, you need to include with the application a school schedule and or four weeks of payment verification for each parent in the home and any other documentation of income (example child support, social security). If you are just starting employment you may bring in a letter from your employer with the place of employment, start date, hourly wage, how many hours/week and how often paid.

If there are two parents in the home, income, and availability count for both. We will cover childcare when both parents are at their approved job or school. Depending on your gross household income determines your weekly copay that is paid to the child care provider you choose. We have a list of licensed child care providers to choose from.  You may call and set up a time to visit and interview as many as you like to decide the best fit for you and your child. An application turned in without a provider chosen will leave the application in pending status.

The state guideline is that the agency processes your child care application within 30 days of the application being date stamped in the agency. The 30 days does not start until we receive all required documentation needed to complete eligibility. If you are approved for child care assistance you will receive a child care card. Those cards are mailed from Columbus and need to be activated when you receive them. Those cards will be used to swipe each child in an out of the facility. The cards must stay with the caretaker and must never be left at the facility.

During your eligibility period if you have any household changes you will need to report those to your childcare worker. You will receive a Yearly Redetermination Application when your eligibility period is near the end. At that time, you will submit the application along with updated school schedule and or four most current weeks of payment verification and all other household income. Not having this information complete or turned in on-time can delay your eligibility for the next period.

Becoming a Licensed Child Care Provider:

There are 2 types of Family Child Care Programs.  Type A Providers can have 7-12 children in the home at one time and Type B Providers can have no more than 6 children at one time.  For additional information please visit http://jfs.ohio.gov/cdc/childcare.stm

To find a child care program, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) provides assistance to help locate the type of childcare program that meets your needs.  The website provides the programs license status, contact information, day/hours of operation, services provided, Step Up To Quality (SUTQ) rating and inspection reports/results.  For more information please visit http://childcareresearch.ohio.gov

Opening a Child Care Program requires a pre-licensing orientation prior to applying.  The goal of this training is to lay a solid foundation of childcare knowledge on which you can plan and build your child care program.  Each module in the training covers related topics and must be considered prior to beginning the process to become a licensed program.  For more information please visit http://jfs.ohio.gov/cdc/openingachildcareprogram.stm

Family Child Care Providers (FCC Providers) are required to follow Chapter 13 Family Child Care Rules.  Two annual inspections are required and completed by the Tuscarawas County Job and Family Services (TCJFS) Licensed Specialist.  To be a licensed FCC Provider you must have current training in CPR/First Aid, Communicable Disease and Child Abuse.  An additional 6 hours of Professional Development Training is to be completed yearly.  BCI/FBI checks are required for anyone living in the household 18 years or older.

Step Up To Quality (SUTQ) is a five-star quality rating and improvement system that recognizes and promotes child care programs that exceed minimum health and safety licensing regulations. By 2020, FCC Providers must have at least a 1 or 2 star-rated program. This star-rating system makes it easier for parents to find high-quality child care providers.  SUTQ providers will receive additional funding based on their ratings and this additional funding is a percentage of their base pay rate.  FCC Providers will receive free marketing materials to help spread the news about their SUTQ rating and attract new customers.  Contact Corporation for Ohio Appalachian Development (COAD) at 330-364-8882 for additional information.  To become familiar with SUTQ please visit http://earlychildhoodohio.org/sutq.php

As part of this exclusive Newsymom.com series, in 2018 Tuscarawas County Job & Family Services will provide a monthly article that targets important issues affecting local parents and children. 

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