Employment Support Child Care

Child Care is a subsidy program that helps parent’s pay an approved provider for watching their children.

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 will 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.
  • 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.
  • Households earning at or less than 100% of the Federal Poverty Limit will not owe a co-payment to the provider.  However, these families may still owe the provider an out-of-pocket expense.
  • Once approved for Child Care, the payment will be paid at the beginning of each month directly to the provider you have selected. 
  • It is important to report promptly when your provider is no longer caring for your child or you change providers.

Eligibility Requirements:

Your household must include an eligible child under the age of 13 and/or a special needs child under the age of 18. A Child Care subsidy payment can be approved for employment only or employment and training. 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.

Parent(s) must meet the following minimum work requirements:

  • Earn minimum wage for the number of hours working
  • A single parent must be working an average of at least 15 hours per week
  • For 2-parent households: one parent must work an average of 15 hours per week and the second parent must work an average of 30 hours per week.
  • Self-employed parents: must have been self-employed for at least 3 months. Expenses can be deducted from the gross income. The Net income must equal minimum wage for the number of hours working each month.
  • 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.
    • Customer’s experiencing permanent or temporary loss of employment such as maternity leave, other medical
      leave, or seasonal breaks of employment such as a teacher may be eligible for continued child care.

Parents must meet the following training requirements:

  • Must be employed and meet the minimum work requirements for single or 2 parents.
  • 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.

Selecting a Child Care Provider:

You have the right to select the type of child care provider which best meets your family needs.

  • Careaboutchildcare.utah.gov provides information to parents about how to identify a quality child care setting and maintains a searchable child care provider database to find a provider in your area. A short video titled Assisting Parents to Find High-quality Child Care is available at  jobs.utah.gov/occ/about/index.html
  • To find out more information on the provider you have chosen, including verified research based-quality indicators, search for your provider at careaboutchildcare.utah.gov. 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 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 have selected.
  • To file a complaint on a provider, you may submit a complaint form online at childcarelicensing.utah.gov or call Child Care Licensing at (801) 273-2895.
  • If you have not selected a child care provider at the time you apply for Child Care assistance, there may be a delay in processing the application.  Report your selection of a child care provider if you have already met with the provider, have negotiated a start date and provider charge.
  • 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 1-866- 435-7414 (toll free).

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 800-883-9375 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. 
  • If you select a provider who lives with you an exemption will be considered only if a child in the home has special needs. 
  • If you have selected a provider who is currently DWS-FFN Approved, make sure your provider contacts CCL 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.

Note: It is important to report promptly when your provider is no longer caring for your child, you 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.