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Need Help Paying for Childcare?

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Paying for childcare is hard to figure out.

So lets think of it like a game. 

  • There are moves you can make as a player AND
  • Moves that you can't - because the rules don't allow it.

Step one is to learn the rules. Step two is to learn the players.

What are the rules?

  • If you make over X, you are not eligible for support
  • If you want help paying for childcare you must be willing to send your child to a licensed provider
    • What does licensed mean? That the provider is regulated by the state. The state works to make sure the facility is clean and safe and the staff are prepared to care for children
  • If eligible, the money to cover your child's costs will be sent directly to the provider
  • The amount of money that you are eligible for is mostly based on income and the child's age*

But there are also other qualifying factors that apply to about 10% of families, like: a foster parent or a child with special needs, if your family is experiencing homelessness, or if your family receives TANF or SSI Benefits

How do you win?

  1. Figure out which program you are eligible for*
    • These programs are referred to as subsidy programs and there are 4 main ones in Michigan
  2. Find a provider who accepts that type of subsidy
    • One of the tricker parts of the game is that you need to know which provider will care for your child BEFORE you complete the subsidy application (...but if you want to change providers there is a form you can submit that won't require you to start over)
  3. Apply to your subsidy program and then wait to be approved
  4. Go back to your choosen provider and complete the enrollment process with them (they will have their own set of papers to fill out since your subsidy program doesn't share your information with them)

It will look something like this (images showing)(this is largely determined by income and age and is referred to as state subsidy). Hint: there are 4 main state subsidy programs, the trick is to figure out which ones you are eligible for)

How long does this game take?

On the short end x weeks, on the long side X weeks. 

So, who are the players?

  1. Those who care for your child (called the provider)
  2. And those who give the money to the provider to cover the cost of your child (called state subsidy)

Why does this matter? Because not all providers accept all subsidy programs. So you need to find out which program you are eligible for AND find a provider who participates in that program BEFORE you start your application.

Okay. Let's figure out which subsidy program you are eligible for.

I am eligible for:

Now let's find a provider who accepts your type of subsidy.

Explore Matching Providers Below

4 weeks
Sign Up Every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday at 08:30 to 12:30
Detroit
School
Detroit
Elementary
Detroit

You are most like eligible if...

How much money your family makes

3 or Under

4 yrs

5 yrs

6-12 yrs

Private Pay

Private Pay

Private Pay

Private Pay

Private Pay

Private Pay

But what if?

I am already enrolled with a provider?

One of my kids has received assistnace before?

Early Head Start

Focused on high-need families
Funded by the Federal Government
Most likely eligible if:
  • Your child will be 0-3 yrs old by Sept.
  • You make under X

Head Start

Covers Full cost Focused on high-need families
Funded by the Federal Government
Most likely eligible if:
  • Your child will be 4-5 yrs old by Sept.
  • You make under X

GSRP

Focused on medium to high-need families
Funded by the State
Most likely eligible if:
  • Your child will be 4 by Sept.
  • You make under X

MDHHS

Covers partial-full costs. Focused on Medium Need Families
Funded by Michigan CDC
Most likely eligible if:
  • Your child will be 0-3 yrs old by Sept.
  • You make under X