Child Care Connection Hawaii (Subsidies)
The Child Care Program has two (2) subsidy programs.
The Child Care Connection Hawaii (CCCH) subsidy program helps low-income families to sustain their employment, educational efforts and job training by paying a subsidy for their children who are in the care of DHS-approved child care providers. Unless child care is required for protective purposes, families must meet income and activity requirements to qualify for this subsidy program.
The Preschool Open Doors (POD) program is a separate subsidy program with limited funds that provides services state-wide to families sending their children to a licensed preschool during the school year prior to kindergarten entry. The goal of POD is to promote school readiness for children, and the program focuses on meeting the needs of the child. Parents are not required to have an eligible activity, unlike the CCCH Subsidy program, but they must meet income and other eligibility requirements. For POD, there is a time-limited application period established and published each year.
For more information click on any of the following:
- What are Child Care Subsidies?
- What are the Eligibility Requirements for Child Care Subsidies?
- How to Apply for a Child Care Subsidy
- Other Community Resources
- Program Forms
What are Child Care Subsidies?
The Child Care Connection Hawaii (CCCH) and the Preschool Open Doors (POD) subsidy programs use a sliding fee scale for families meeting the income eligibility requirements. The subsidy amount varies based on the family’s gross monthly income, family size, type and cost of care, and, for CCCH only, the hours of the caretaker’s work activity. The subsidy may not cover the full cost of care, thus families may be required to pay for some of the child care costs.
For families with children under the age of 13 years, the CCCH program provides subsidies to help pay for a variety of legal child care settings including: care provided in the child’s home, care by relatives or friends in their home, before and after school programs, and preschools. All child care providers, even if they are not licensed by DHS, need to have child abuse/neglect, adult perpetrator, and criminal history background checks completed in order to receive a DHS child care subsidy payment. This is to help ensure that the child is in a safe setting. Parents will receive detailed information about these requirements during the application process.
CCCH program also provides families with: guidance in selecting a child care provider; information about quality child care programs; and referrals to community resources for help with other concerns.
The Preschool Open Doors (POD) program provides subsidies for eligible families with children in the year prior to kindergarten entry. The POD subsidy is used to assist with payments to DHS licensed group child care homes or centers (i.e. preschools). The program has a time-limited application period established and published each year.
The child care subsidy may be paid directly to families via an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card or direct deposit to the family’s bank account, or a direct payment may be made directly to a licensed child care provider. Families will receive more information about these options during the intake interview.
Each family has different child care needs and preferences. The parent/guardian chooses the child care provider most appropriate for their child. Guidance and materials are provided during the office visit to help make this important choice.
What are the Eligibility Requirements for Child Care Subsidy?
Child Care Connection Hawaii Eligibility Requirements (general child care)
- Child: Under 13 years, or between 13 to 18 years if the child cannot do self care and resides with their parent(s) or caretakers;
- Parents or Caretakers: Must be employed, attending school, or participating in a job-training program. In two-parent families, BOTH parents/caretakers must be participating in any of the above activities;
- Income limits by family size: Gross monthly income (before taxes and deductions) must not exceed 85% of the State Median Income for the family size.
- A completed application along with supporting documents, such as birth certificates, income verification, and an intake interview are required before eligibility can be established and payment initiated.
- Re-determinations for continued eligibility are conducted every 12 months
- HAR §17-798.3 Child Care Payments Rules
- Child Care Gross Income Eligibility Limits and Sliding Fee Scale
- Child Care Connection Hawaii Offices
Preschool Open Doors (POD) Eligibility Requirements
There is a limited enrollment period during spring of each year with the following requirements:
- Child: Priority is given to children for the POD school year prior to kindergarten entry with priority for under-served or at-risk children;
- Parents or Caretakers: No activity requirement;
- Income limits by family size:
- Gross monthly income (before taxes and deductions) must not exceed the income limit for the family’s size.
- Assistance is provided to eligible children according to priority criteria based on the child’s age, referral documentation for the child regarding underserved or at-risk factors, and the income of the family.
- HAR §17-799 POD Rules
- POD Gross Income Limits and Sliding Fee Scale
- POD Child Care Rate (temporary rates for July 2020 – January 2022)
How to Apply for Child Care Connection Hawaii Subsidy
Applications for child care services are accepted statewide, year-round, except for the Preschool Open Doors (POD) program which has a limited Open Enrollment period during the spring.
- Application for Child Care Services (DHS 911) (Fillable version)
- Child Care Connections Hawaii Offices
The Application Process:
You may call or visit your nearest CHILD CARE CONNECTION HAWAII (CCCH) office to request an application or down load a copy (see link below).
- Complete and submit your application along with all required supporting documents to your nearest CCCH office. You will be notified by mail of your application status. If your family meets basic eligibility requirements you will receive other forms and you will then be contacted for either an office visit or a telephone intake interview(s) to confirm information and go over the other forms. Plan to set aside 1 to 2 hours for the intake interview.
- During the interview, parents are asked to choose a child care provider and are issued a Child Care Certificate and Provider Confirmation Form to be completed by the chosen provider. The parents are given a “Choosing The Right Caregiver for your Keiki” brochure and “Health and Safety Checklist,” to provide guidance in making their choice. Parent/Guardian Rights and Responsibilities are explained and a Child Care Services Agreement form is completed during the interview. Parents may be referred to PATCH or other agencies for additional services as requested.
- Parents may choose between: licensed or license-exempt center-based care, a licensed or licensed-exempt family child care home, or care by relatives (not including the child’s siblings, caretakers, or parents residing in the home). DHS will only approve payments for legal child care arrangements when the selected child care provider does not have a child abuse or adult perpetrator background or a criminal history that indicates the provider, adult household members, or staff, might pose a risk of harm to children. Requirements for obtaining the background and criminal history clearances are explained at the time of the interview.
- Once the intake interview(s) is completed and all requested documents/information is obtained the subsidy worker will determine if a family is eligible for a subsidy and the amount of the subsidy.
Other Community Resources
The Department of Human Services also supports the well-being of children and families by providing information about quality child care programs and how to select the best provider for your child, how to locate a child care provider in your community, as well as information and referrals to other community resources via People Attentive To Children (PATCH), a contracted provider. For a full description of services provided by PATCH, click on the following website: http://www.patchHawaii.org
- DHS 948 Authorization for Background Check and to Release Information (fillable .pdf)
- DHS 948A Instructions
- DHS 948B Non-Criminal Justice Applicant Privacy Rights
- DHS 961B Instructions for Background Checks Oahu
- DHS 961C Instructions for Background Checks Neighbor Islands
- Application for Child Care Services – DHS 911 (fillable)