The 1996 welfare reform that created Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) consolidated several different sources of federal funding for child care into the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG). CCDBG provides a block grant to states for child care assistance in order to help low-income working families, families receiving Public Assistance, and those enrolled in training or education become and remain independent. States can use these funds to help move families out of poverty and stay off welfare by enabling them to work.
Specifically, CCDBG helps to defray the costs of child care by providing eligible low-income families with subsidies. For many parents, receiving child care is essential in order to stay employed. For families receiving TANF benefits, child care is pivotal to a parent's ability to make a smooth transition from welfare to employment.
Day care services are provided in centers or informally through a variety of funding sources:
- Child care is provided to Public Assistance recipients for employment and/or training leading to employment.
- Transitional child care along with Medicaid is offered for one year to Public Assistance recipients whose cases are closed due to employment.
- Low Income day care is available to working parents who are not eligible for Public Assistance and whose income is less than 85% of the New York State Median income.
- Child care is also provided through this funding to teen parents to allow them to finish high school. Low income day care is limited by available funding.
- Finally, day care is provided to children who are at risk of foster care placement due to abuse or neglect.
- Childcare assistance can be available for parents that are searching for employment for up to 3 months.
- Childcare assistance is obtainable for parents enrolling in remedial educational programs such as reading, writing, mathematics, and oral communications; along with English as second language programs.
- Childcare is accessible for parents entering training programs that will help assist parents in obtaining employment.
- Childcare is also available for parents enrolling in 2 or 4 year higher education/collegiate programs.
Important Information About Your Day Care Case
Your daycare assistance will continue as long as you remain income eligible and your children are younger than age 13. Please become familiar with the following information so that we can work better together:
- Make copies, do not send originals. We do not make copies.
- Make sure the hours that your child(ren) are attending daycare match the hours that you are working.
- If you lose your job notify us immediately.
- If you are leaving your job due to disability, pregnancy, or other reasons please let us know immediately.
- We randomly verify information. For example, we may call employers, babysitters, or audit self-employment. We do this to protect public funds from potential fraud.
- Every 12 months you are required to recertify your case; be aware that you will receive a recertification packet in the mail. The information is time sensitive and your case can be closed if not submitted. Once closed, you have to complete a new application entirely to rejoin the program.
- If we discover fraud, we immediately report it to the Fraud Unit and/or the District Attorney's office.
- We pay up to market rate for your provider. If your provider charges more than market rate you are responsible to pay the difference. This is in addition to your parent share.
- If you change providers we need to have the change in writing. Please let us know who the provider is, on what date he/she will start and the child who will be attending.
- We pay for childcare on a monthly basis. Submit your bill at the end of the month. Do not send it in early. If you forget to send in a bill for a month we will not pay double the next month. If you need the funding be sure the bill is submitted monthly.
How to Apply for Day Care Funding
You may be eligible to receive funding to assist in the costs of your day care. Whether your case is closing for Family Assistance or if you are working, we need the following information to determine if you can receive help:
- If you get paid every other week, we need 4 copies of consecutive current paystubs. If you get paid every week, we need 8 copies of consecutive current paystubs. If your job hasn't started yet, you can get a letter from your employer stating how many hours per week you will be working and how much you will be paid per hour, shift hours and start date.
- We need copies of birth certificates for the children who need day care. If you and the children have been on Public Assistance we can access this information for you (unless the child was not on your case).
- Social Services (DSS) also needs proof of residency in Rensselaer County. Please submit a copy of either a lease agreement or monthly utility/housing expense bill with your name and address on it.
Once you have compiled these documents, next you must complete the Application for Child Care Assistance. We need to know who will be providing care for your children.
If you are using a babysitter you must enroll them by completing a packet of information and sending it to:
Brightside Up Inc.
Menands, NY 12204
To receive an enrollment packet, please call us to request one. If enrolled, we will pay your babysitter directly.
Day Care Center / Family Day Care
If you are using a day care center or family day care we will pay directly to the provider. In both cases, we need a completed attendance sheet for the month. Your payment will be based on attendance. This program, using a State formula and your annual income, will establish a "parent share" which you will need to pay.
This parent share does not include any additional costs your provider may charge you.
INCOME STANDARDS October 1, 2023
85% New York State Median Income
Rensselaer County is currently opening Childcare Subsidy Cases up to 85% of the New York State Median Income.
You can also apply with Workforce Development Institute.
Submit Your Information
Once you have completed the Application for Child Care Assistance, Day Care Provider Information Form and secured copies of paystubs and child support orders mail or bring to:
Rensselaer County Department of Social Services
ATTN: Day Care
127 Bloomingrove Drive
Troy, NY 12180
DSS has 30 days to make a determination of eligibility once a complete application is received.
Fax or email applications and/or questions.