PA 08-100—sHB 5708

Select Committee on Children

Human Services Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING THE EXPANSION OF THE CARE 4 KIDS PROGRAM

SUMMARY: This act expands eligibility periods for parents receiving child care subsidies under the Department of Social Services' (DSS) Care 4 Kids program. It requires the DSS commissioner to allow parents to remain in the program during temporary interruptions in (1) employment or (2) participation in approved education, training, or other job preparation activities. Under prior program rules, parents became ineligible as soon as they stopped working or participating in an approved activity.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2008

BACKGROUND

Care 4 Kids Income Limits and Applicant Preferences

Under the Care 4 Kids program, DSS pays approved day care providers a fixed amount to care for children while their parents work, attend high school, or participate in an approved work activity. Parents select the provider, pay DSS a family fee, and are responsible for paying the balance of any charges that DSS does not pay.

To be eligible, parents must have incomes below 50% of the state's median ($38,726 for a three-person family in 2008). Once enrolled, families remain financially eligible until their incomes reach 75% of the state's median ($58,089 for a three-person family in 2008). There is no waiting list, but by law, if one is established, preference goes to applicants who are:

1. Temporary Family Assistance (TFA) recipients working or engaged in Jobs First employment activities,

2. former TFA recipients who are employed and received cash assistance within the past five years,

3. teen parents,

4. low-income workers,

5. adoptive parents of DCF foster children with a waiver of Care 4 Kids income standards, or

6. working families at risk of welfare dependency.

OLR Tracking: SP: VR: PF: ts