Child Care Assistance Program

Child Care providers that accept Child Care Assistance Payments help support children from low-income families grow and succeed while supporting parents’ ability to be or become employable. 

Child Care Assistance can be complex and difficult to understand. There are three Child Care Assistance Programs administered in Minnesota in each county. Child Care Providers do not have access to know which program the family is receiving benefits from due to data privacy laws. Child Care Providers do get confirmation of a family’s eligibility for Child Care Assistance benefits when the provider is issued a Child Care Assistance Service Authorization.  A Service Authorization informs the provider of the following:

  • The dates the child(ren) are eligible for assistance.
  • How many hours the child(ren) are eligible to be care every two weeks.
  • The age group of the child.
  • The maximum rate that can be paid.
  • The co-pay that the family must pay every two weeks.

Child Care Assistance pays the following provider types:

  • Licensed Family Child Care
  • Licensed Centers
  • Licensed Exempt which include: park & recreation programs or before & after school programs.
  • Legal Non-Licensed Providers such as a family, friend, or neighbor.

In order to be able to bill for services provided on behalf of a family receiving child care assistance the provider must complete the Provider Registration & Acknowledgement Forms.  The provider must complete and submit the registration forms to EVERY MN County that the provider will accept CCAP Payments from. This registration packet must be completed every two years.

There are additional requirements for Legal Non-Licensed Providers. These providers should contact the Child Care Assistance Program in the county where the family resides to determine what forms and releases are needed to complete the registration process. A criminal and social services background check must be completed on all household members ages 13yrs & Older.  Effective 11/1/2011, new Legal Non-Licensed Providers trying to register to receive CCAP payments must complete CPR & First Aid Training as part of the registration process & additional training at the two year renewal period.

Child Care Assistance payments are issued according to the schedule authorized by the Child Care Assistance Worker based on when the parents are working, looking for work, and/or attending school & what the provider bills on the billing form.  The family’s copay is deducted from the payment and the provider is issued the remaining payment up to the Maximum Rates or provider charges whichever is less.  Any payments for services provided not issued by CCAP are the responsibility of the parent.  The payment processing time varies within each county but CCAP policy states that a payment must be issued no later than 30 days from receiving the bill. Most counties issue payments within 10 to 15 days.

In order to reduce delays in payments:

  • Make sure billing forms are complete and legible.
  • The child’s scheduled attendance section must be completed.
  • Parent signatures must be on the billing forms for most counties.
  • If there is no parent signature line then that county does not require a parent signature.

If you are unsure of what or how to understand a Service Authorization and/or complete a billing form, it’s best to contact the Child Care Assistance Worker that is listed on the form.

Resources & Links: