Day Care Services for Children
Day Care is provided for children under age 13 years for a portion of the day while their parents are participating in activities, which will prepare them to be self-supporting. Day care services are available to individuals who are working, going to school, or in training. Any educational or training plans, which are at the post secondary level, must be appropriate for the customer and approved by agency staff before day care is authorized.
There are a number of different programs for which a customer may be eligible to receive day care services. Those customers who are receiving assistance through Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) are eligible to receive day care while they are working or completing high school and in some instances while they are in post secondary education or training. Day Care can continue as long as customers attend work regularly or make progress toward their educational goals.
Former recipients of TANF who have been terminated based on excess earned income from working may be eligible for Transitional Day Care. In order to participate in this program, families must meet income guidelines based on the size of the family and must pay 10% of their gross income toward the cost of day care. The agency pays the remainder of the cost of care. Customers are eligible for Transitional Day Care for a 12-month period.
There are other limited funding sources available to assist low-income families with the cost of their day care. These programs also require eligibility based on income, and the customers must pay a fee (10% of their gross income) toward the cost of the day care. Participation in these programs is limited to five years; this allows more families the opportunity to be served. There is a lengthy waiting list for these programs as funding is never to the level to meet the community’s need.
Children are cared for in family day care homes or day care centers. Family day care homes may be regulated or unregulated. Regulated homes are ones in which the providers have been certified by the local Social Services agency, licensed by the state, or approved through the Voluntary Registration Program administered by the Planning Council in Norfolk. Unregulated providers, with the exception of close relatives, must meet some minimum standards such as Child Protective Services Clearance, Criminal Records Check, TB test, and a Health and Safety Checklist. Day Care Centers must be licensed or declared church exempt by the state licensing office. Social Services enters into vendor agreements with providers within the market rates set by state policy.
Citizens who believe they may be eligible for day care services through this agency should call and request to be screened for an intake appointment.