Childcare and Parenting Services (CAPS)
Per DECAL, in order to be eligible to receive CAPS, a child must be a U.S. citizen, or have established U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) status as a lawfully admitted qualified alien. This can be found in CAPS policy, section 6.5 under Eligibility Requirements by clicking here. This policy is based on federal requirements that prohibit Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) monies from being expended for the care of children that don’t meet these citizenship requirements.
However, there is a solution. DFCS has emergency child care funds they can use to compensate providers in this situation. If you are in this position, write a letter to the DFCS County Director with responsibility for the children (this may be different than county in which you are located) detailing the events and circumstances that occurred that resulted in caring for these children, that the children are not eligible to receive CAPS despite being told otherwise, and requesting that the costs be reimbursed by DFCS.
GCCA Membership has its benefits - when you're struggling with CAPS issues at your center, we can be your advocate. To become a GCCA member, click here.
CAPS Fast Facts
Children receiving the CAPS subsidy each week in 2016
The average weekly cost per child is $89.34
Total Fiscal Year Plan with $179M coming from Federal funding
Challenges of CAPS
- Georgia does NOT keep a waiting list for families needed child care assistance
- The state cannot afford to increase the base market rate to give parents choice and reimburse child care providers for the ACTUAL cost of care
- The program is now restricted to 12 priority groups for new applicants and low income, hard working families will not be able to get help
- The amount of children served will be reduced if no additional funds are added to the program
- Quality cost money yet the market rate reimbursement had not even kept up with modest rate increases
- Programs are at risk of losing enrollment and closing their doors
- Families will be forced to quit working, seek unlicensed care or leave children at home
- GCCA is working with DECAL to find a solution to the funding dilemma
- GCCA is engaging legislators on the need for further investment
- GCCA is educating our Congressmen for the need for waivers for Georgia for implementation of federal, costly mandates
Reauthorization to Child Care Development Block Grant and Impact to CAPS
On November 19, 2014, the President signed the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2014 into law. This action reauthorizes the law governing CCDF for the first time since 1996 and represents an historic re-envisioning of the program.
Under the new law, States must establish eligibility policies, including a period of at least 12 months before eligibility is re-determined, that promote continuity of care for children and families.
Additionally, States must now implement new health and safety requirements that address key areas (such as first aid and CPR); require that providers receive training in these areas; complete comprehensive criminal background checks; and have enhanced plans for emergency preparedness.
The new law went into effective 10/1/16. States are working through the details of the law and some components ( Comprehensive Records Check Determinations) will require more time to work through logistical hurdles.
The CCDBG funds the CAPS programs so in order to access the money, states must comply with the host of new requirements. There was no additional money from the federal government that accompanied the new regulations.
In addition to mandating new health and safety requirements, the Federal Government recommends child care subsidy rates be established at 50% of the most current market rate survey. The obstacle is that Georgia has not taken a rate increase in almost a decade and the cost to execute this important recommendation without additional federal funding would dramatically reduce the number of children served.