MARYLAND FAMILY NETWORK

 

For Child Care Providers

Child Care Subsidy Program

The Child Care Subsidy (CSS), formerly purchase of care, helps limited-income families pay for child care while parents work or attend school or job training.

CCS offers a subsidy for care provided by:
  • child care centers,
  • registered family child care homes,
  • informal care. Informal care is
    • care by a relative in the child's home or in the relative's home,
    • care by a non-relative in the child's home, or
    • care provided by a non-relative in their own home for less than 20 hours a month.

Families receive a voucher for each child needing care. A sliding scale, based on household income, is used to determine the amount of the voucher and the amount of the co-payment, which the parents must pay. The amount of the voucher will also vary based on the amount of care that is needed and the age of the child.

Parents purchase care directly from providers.

Their payment to the provider includes three parts:

  • the CCS voucher
  • the parent's co-payment
  • any additional payment necessary to cover the full cost of care. (CCS vouchers and co-payments do not always add up to the full amount charged by the provider.)

Parents obtain CCS vouchers from the local departments of social services (DSS). The voucher will indicate the subsidy (which will be paid to you by the local DSS) and the co-payment amount (which must be paid to you by the parent).

You are not legally required to accept CCS vouchers.

If you decide to accept CCS vouchers,

  • You can accept the combined amount of the voucher and copayment, or
  • If your regular rate is higher than the combined amount of the voucher and copayment, you can ask the parent to make up the difference. However, providers may not charge their CCS clients more than their non-CCS clients. In addition, many providers find it difficult to collect any additional payment from limited income families served by CCS.
  • You and the parent will review, complete, and sign the voucher.
  • You return the completed voucher to your local DSS office.
  • Licensed providers must request from DSS and complete a "market rate sheet".
  • You complete a monthly invoice for your CCS clients and submit this to your local DSS office.
  • You will be paid monthly.

For instructions on how to assist a parent in applying for the Child Care Subsidy program, click here to go to the CCS For Parents page.

For reimbursement rates -- which vary by region of the state, age of the child (infants versus children over 2), number children in the family needing care, and the amount of care needed -- click here.

For special instructions for informal providers, click here.