Missouri Child Care Assistance – What it is and How to Obtain it

Two children practicing writing, benefiting from Missouri child care assistanceAre you looking for help paying for child care?  Not sure where to start? You’re in luck, considering there are multiple options for families to receive Missouri child care assistance.

But where should you start, and what is involved in receiving help for child services in Missouri?

In this article we’ll walk you through the different types of Missouri child care assistance you may be eligible for, where you need to go to apply for those resources and respond to frequently asked questions regarding child services in Missouri.

What Types of Missouri Child Care Assistance Programs Are Available?

The child services in Missouri you’re eligible for may depend on your personal situation, job, and income.

Here are some vetted Missouri child care assistance programs you may be eligible to apply for assistance through:

1. Subsidy

The Missouri Subsidy Assistance System works to provide Missouri child care assistance to families, enabling them to afford child services in Missouri. Eligibility for the subsidy program will depend on your family’s size and income.

  1. Sliding Scale – Within the subsidy system, the portion of the child care that your family will be responsible for paying is determined by the sliding scale, which is based on family size and income.
  2. Co-Payment – The co-payment is the remainder of the cost of care after the subsidy payment and sliding fee are applied.  Families are responsible for paying a copay if the cost of care exceeds the total of the subsidy payment and sliding fee.
  3. Multi-Child Discount – Some child care programs offer discounts if your family has more than one child enrolled in their program.

2. Income-Based Payment

Income-based Missouri child care assistance programs charge families based on their income. This means that the individual program works with families to determine what they can pay based on their income.

3. Scholarships

Some Missouri child care assistance programs have the funding to offer scholarships for children. Eligibility is determined by each individual program.

4. Military Family Resources

There are financial options available for military families and programs in place to assist kids and families of active-duty members and veterans. For more information contact Child Care Aware of America.

5. State Payment Assistance

Visit Missouri Department of Social Services to check the eligibility of your family for Missouri child care assistance, or to apply for assistance.

In addition to these resources, we will also provide five more methods of receiving Missouri child care assistance that include ways in which you can obtain assistance with food costs, home energy payments, and other necessities to help you and your children receive the schooling, healthy meals, and life that you deserve a bit later in this article.

Subsidy Assistance for Child Services in Missouri – More Information and Steps to Apply

The Missouri Department of Social Services offers a subsidy program to help families offset the cost of child care.

The DSS of Missouri can help you pay for child care that works with your schedule, morning, noon, night, and even weekends, giving you the freedom to focus on supporting your family’s needs.

Who is Eligible for Subsidy Assistance for Child Services?

To be eligible to apply for Missouri child care assistance through the subsidy program if you are the parent or guardian of a child under the age of 13, or of a child who has special needs.

Some of the requirements required to be accepted into the program are:

  • You are a Low-Income Family (Under 85% of the State Median Income)
  • Employed or seeking out employment
  • Attending School or Job Training (If not employed)
  • Disabled
  • Living in a state of homelessness
  • Participating in Job Training or are in a placement program
  • Receiving Services from the Children’s division

How to Apply for Missouri Child Care Assistance Subsidy Program through the DSS

It only takes three steps to apply for subsidy assistance for child care in Missouri.

You can apply online by navigating to the “Apply for Child Care” page on the DSS website, or, alternatively, print and complete your paper application.

Next, submit your completed application for Missouri child care assistance either:

Online: Complete and submit your forms online via mydssupload.mo.gov

Mail: Send your completed application through regular post to:

Family Support Division

615 E. 13th St.

Kansas City, MO 64106

Fax: You can also submit your completed application via facsimile at 573-526-9400.

What Verification Documents Must You Submit for Missouri Child Care Assistance?

The Family Support Division (FSD) may ask you to verify your information to help you get the help paying for child services in Missouri that you need.

Documentation types required will be dependent upon the benefit you are either applying for initially or to maintain.

For child services in Missouri, the following documentation is accepted as valid for verification purposes:

  • Work or school schedule
  • Pay stubs
  • Letter from employer
  • Letter from enrolled school
  • Letter from training program
  • Letter from medical/professional stating why the disabled child/parent needs child care

After submitting your completed application along with all required supporting documentation, the family support division will process your entire submission as soon as it is received.

Once your application is processed, you will receive a letter within fifteen days notifying you of your eligibility for Missouri child care assistance, or of your ineligibility for help with child services, as well as an explanation for the rejection.

What Happens Next if I am Approved for Missouri Child Care Assistance?

After receiving your approval letter in the mail, you still have a few more tasks that are required to receive assistance for child services in Missouri.

After being approved for the Child Care Subsidy Program, you must complete the following steps to guarantee you receive the Missouri child care assistance, otherwise you may lose your funding.

1. Choose a Child Care Provider

Before child care payments can begin, you must select a quality child care provider who is authorized.

For help locating a child care provider near you, please contact Child Care Aware® of Missouri or perform a “Show Me Child Care Providers” search.

After selecting a center for child services in Missouri, to get the facility of your choice, you are able to get the child services authorized in three ways.

2. Provide Your Schedule

Your schedule is utilized to determine the number of days and time of days your child can receive care each month.

Child care payments cannot be made prior to the submission of your schedule.

3. Pay Your Portion

You may be required to pay on a sliding fee and/or have a co-payment. The approval letter that you receive should tell you what, if any, portion of payment that you are responsible for.

How Long Will I Receive Missouri Child Care Assistance?

The same approval letter which will inform you of any portion of payment you may be responsible for will also notify you of when your Missouri child care assistance for child services in Missouri will start, and when it will end.

If you find yourself nearing the end of our subsidy duration and you are still requiring financial assistance with child services in Missouri, you will need to reapply.

Please note, that if you do not reapply before the date your eligibility ends, you may be no longer eligible for Missouri child care assistance benefits.

If, for some reason, you do not receive your reapplication packet 30 days before the end of your eligibility period, please contact us to request another.

How to Navigate a Change in Circumstance During Your Missouri Child Care Assistance Eligibility Period

If you happen to have a change in your circumstances during the middle of your eligibility period, you should contact the Family Support Division immediately. These conditions include if you:

  • Switch to a new child care provider
  • Get a new home address or telephone number
  • Welcome a new member into your household
  • Have a change in income
  • Change your work or training hours

You can make these changes online, in person, or via telephone as previously outlined in this article, but it is imperative that you notify the Family Support Division immediately to inform them of the change, so you can take the necessary steps to maintain your Missouri child care assistance.

Change in Income Status

If your income goes above 85% of the State Median Income for child care subsidy, you are required to report the pay increase.

Despite this increase in salary, you may still be eligible to have Missouri child care assistance for child services in Missouri through Transitional Child Care, which is a program designed to help ease you into making payments on your own, without assistance from the subsidy.

Much like applying for Missouri child care assistance through the subsidy, you will need to apply through the Family Support Division, which will notify you if you qualify for Transitional Child Care via letter.

If you are accepted into the Transitional Child Care program, you will be notified by letter. This letter will also explain what your payment schedule will be like so you can continue receiving your Missouri child care assistance.

Additional Methods of Assistance for Missouri Families

Now that you understand all the ins and outs of receiving Missouri child care assistance, let’s discuss briefly the other programs offered in partnership with Child Care Aware® of Missouri.

All the programs we will discuss are designed to alleviate the strain on low-income families to pay for child services in Missouri as well as other day to day essentials.

Missouri Head Start

Missouri Head Start is a federal assistance program that promotes school readiness of children from birth to five years of age for low-income families.

Women, Infants and Children (WIC)

WIC is a program which offers supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition information to low-income women who are pregnant and/or have children aged birth through five.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

TANF provides cash assistance designed to help low-income families achieve their own self-sufficiency.

Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (formerly known as Food Stamps)

The Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program is a federal nutrition program aimed at providing every family in need with the means to supply their family with healthy meals.

Low Income Energy Assistance Program

The low-income energy assistance program helps low-income households in meeting their immediate home energy needs, which can be a lifesaving option for those who hit hard times during the hot summers, or cold winters.

Missouri Child Care Assistance for Child Services in Missouri – Getting Your Family on the Right Track

Child Care Aware® of Missouri is here to help Missouri families every step of the way in finding reputable, affordable child services in Missouri.

We pride ourselves in providing services and assistance that low-income families need to see their children receive the highest quality early childhood education possible.

We realize that trying to find suitable child care that is convenient for you and is accepted for Missouri child care assistance can be a daunting task.

It’s for this reason we compile the information and resources we do, as well as offer the help of our trained staff.

We encourage you to also utilize our website, as it is a wealth of resources for parents seeking our Missouri child care assistance.

If you have questions in regard to attaining assistance for your children to attend school for early childhood education in Missouri, contact the team at Child Care Aware® of Missouri today, and we will get you on the right path to receiving the help you need to provide your children the highest-quality education possible.