Employment Support Child Care

The child care assistance program helps families pay for all or part of the cost of child care.

Do you need help paying for child care?

¿Necesita ayuda para pagar los cuidados infantiles?

How to Qualify for Child Care Subsidies

  • You must be the parent, foster parent, approved relative or legal guardian to the child needing care.
    • The child must be under age 13 (or under age 18 if the child has special needs).
    • The child must be a U.S. citizen, authorized non-U.S. citizen, refugee or U.S. permanent resident.
  • You must be eligible based on your household size and monthly income. Income requirements are at jobs.utah.gov/occ/provider/cctable4.pdf
    • The bigger your household size, the higher your income limit for receiving child care assistance. For example, if you have a household size of 3 you could qualify with countable income up to $5,098 per month. A household size of 6 could qualify with countable income up to $8,012 per month.
  • You must work an average of 15 hours or more per week earning at least minimum wage.
    • For two-parent households: one parent must work at least an average of 15 hours per week and the second parent must work at least an average of 30 hours per week.
    • If you are self-employed, you must have been self-employed for at least the last 3 months. If you have self-employment expenses, you must claim actual expenses or the 40% deduction. If you have actual expenses, you cannot claim to have no expenses just to become eligible for child care.
    • Expenses  will be deducted from your gross income. Your net income must equal at least minimum wage for the number of hours you are working each month.
    • Once approved, if you are experiencing permanent or temporary loss of employment such as maternity leave, other medical leave or seasonal breaks of employment (such as a teacher), you may be eligible for continued child care.
  • You can receive child care assistance for employment only or employment and training. 
    • You must be employed and meet the minimum work requirements for a single parent or two-parent household.
      • You will be asked to verify your income and hours worked. If attending training, you will be asked to verify your course of study, schedule and graduation date. Your training schedule must be in person or at a set classroom schedule if you are taking online courses.
      • The training must be in a course of study that can be completed within 24 months.
      • Associate degrees that are part of a four-year degree are not supported.
      • Post-graduate work or obtaining a second degree is not supported.
    • Exceptions to the minimum work requirements may be made if you are enrolled in a formal course of study to complete your high school diploma or GED.
  • You must select an approved provider. 

Please see “Selecting a Child Care Provider” below.

How to Apply

  • Submit an online or paper application.
  • Assistance in other languages is available by calling 1-866-435-7414. Spanish-speaking staff are available and applicants can access help through any other language.
    • Your application will be screened by an eligibility worker. You will receive a verification checklist listing the items needed to process the application and a deadline to return the items.
      • If requested verifications are not received within 30 days of the date of application, the application will be denied. 
      • If requested verifications are received on days 31-60, the application may still be processed. If eligible, benefits will be prorated from the date the last verification was received. 
      • After 60 days, you must reapply.
    • You have the option to receive notifications electronically (through your myCase account) or by mail.
    • If you are eligible at the time of application, your child care benefits may start from the date the application was received or from the date child care started, whichever is later.
    • The income eligibility limits for child care have increased. If you were denied in the past we would encourage you to reapply.

    The following does not need to be provided with an application

    • Social security number
      • The social security number on the application is not required for child care eligibility. This question can be left blank.
    • Information regarding immigration or work authorization
      • The status or the immigration or work authorization status of the family or household members (other than the child who is receiving the child care as noted above) does not need to be provided.
      • Using child care benefits will not affect immigration status or the immigration status of the family. Immigration information is private and confidential.
      • Using child care benefits will not be considered in public charge determinations.

    Selecting a Child Care Provider
    You have the right to select the type of child care provider which best meets your family needs. The provider you have selected must comply with certain health and safety requirements to be eligible.

    • Help finding a provider is available through Care About Childcare at cac.utah.gov.
      • You can search the provider database to find a provider in your area. 
      • Tutorial videos for using Care About Child Care are available in English and Spanish.
    • To find out more information on the provider you have chosen, search for your provider at jobs.utah.gov/jsp/cac/search
      • Once you click on your provider’s name, you will see a link to their Department of Health Child Care Licensing record to find information about their health and safety requirements, including regulatory requirements. 
        • Their licensing record will show the date the provider was last inspected and any history of violations of these requirements. 
        • You will also be able to view their quality rating. More information about quality ratings is at jobs.utah.gov/occ/cachelp/onepager.pdf.
    • You may call the Utah Registry for Professional Development toll free at 855-531-2468 if you need assistance in locating an approved provider or have questions about the provider you selected.
    • Report your selection of a child care provider if you have already met with the provider, have negotiated a start date and provider charge. There may be a delay in processing your application if you have not selected a child care provider at the time you apply. 
      • If you have not selected a child care provider, changes may be reported on jobs.utah.gov/mycase or by contacting the Eligibility Service Center, 801-526-0950 or 866-435-7414.
    • If you select a Family, Friend or Neighbor (FFN) as your provider they must apply with Child Care Licensing (CCL) to become a DWS-FFN Approved provider prior to any Child Care assistance being approved.
      • Your provider may submit an application online at childcarelicensing.utah.gov or call 888-287-3704 to apply.
      • If your FFN provider has not completed the application process, an information notice will be sent to you to give to your provider. Your Child Care application will start the day your FFN provider becomes approved.
      • Your provider and their household members age 12 and older must pass a background check and complete all Health and Safety requirements administered by Child Care Licensing. For more information, view the FFN checklist.
      • You cannot select an FFN provider who lives in the home with you. An exemption can  be considered only if a child in the home has a qualified special need. 
      • If you have selected a provider who is currently DWS-FFN Approved, make sure your provider contacts Child Care Licensing to report they will be providing care for your children. 
        • They will need your DWS case number. They are limited to the number of children they can provide care for. If they are over the limit, you may need to choose another provider.

    Provider Payments

    • Payments will be made directly to your chosen provider each month.  
      • Your provider will receive the Child Care payment by direct deposit to a financial institution of their choice or by check. Your provider will need to email occ@utah.gov (Office of Child Care) to set up an account in the DWS Provider Portal for direct deposit.
    • The maximum subsidy amount that can be paid each month to a provider may not cover the total child care expense because the providers may charge more than the subsidy rate.
    • You may have to pay a co-payment to your provider that is based on your household size and income. DWS determines the amount of subsidy you are eligible to receive and the amount of your co-payment. The DWS co-payment is currently temporarily waived for all families.
    • You may also have additional out-of-pocket child care expenses above the co-payment amount if your provider charges you more than the subsidy rate. 
      • You are responsible to pay your provider the difference between what they charge you and what DWS pays.
    • Your child care provider has limited access to your payment information through the DWS Provider Portal. DWS may share general information with your child care provider needed to approve child care, including your case status, relevant dates, and subsidy or copayment amounts. Specific information will not be shared unless you agree to share it.
      • Child care benefits will be issued at the same benefit level for the 12 month certification period as long as there is a need for care. This includes fluctuations in employment and/or training hours, so long as the household income does not exceed the income limits for child care. 

    Note: It is important to report promptly when your provider is no longer caring for your child, you unenroll a child or change providers, or the amount your provider charges you for care changes. Always check myCase to see when the payment was issued and how much money has been authorized for your child care provider(s). It is your responsibility to ensure the Child Care payment was issued to the correct provider for the approved month of service. If you change providers after your current provider is paid for the month and they provide care, you will be responsible to pay your new provider for the month of change. DWS will not make the provider change until the following month.

    Many providers require a two-week advance notice before changing providers. It is important to give your provider proper notice and to notify DWS as soon as you make this decision so that payment can be updated for the following month. This will help to prevent provider overpayments to be returned to DWS and will avoid unnecessary fees that you will owe your provider.