TANF Related Child Care

  • Description
  • Funding History
  • Proposals

TANF Related Child Care funds child care for families involved with or transitioning from transitional aid to families with dependent children (TAFDC). TAFDC benefits are time limited cash assistance benefits for families with children, and pregnant women in the last 120 days of pregnancy.

Families receiving TANF Related Child Care funded by the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) must first apply for TAFDC eligibility through the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA). DTA determines eligibility for TAFDC based on financial and work related requirements which include education and training. To receive a TANF Related Child Care subsidy, families must first qualify for TAFDC. Families must have income and assets below required limits. On the asset side, a family must have countable assets valued under $2,500 to qualify. There are two income limits and both must be met for eligibility. The first is gross income (total countable income) and the second is net income (gross income minus deductions - an earned income disregard, and certain deductions for child care and work-related expenses). Gross income eligibility which for a family of three is $1,143, increases a little under $200 with each additional family member. Eligibility is measured at monthly intervals meaning a family which exceeds the income threshold in one month becomes ineligible for benefits.

To qualify for TAFDC, families must also meet work related requirements which stipulate how many hours must be spent working or looking for work, or in a training or education program. A single parent must meet the work requirement of 20 hours per week with a child under mandatory school age. The requirement increases to 30 hours per week for a child who is mandatory school age. Eligible recipients can continue to receive a child care subsidies for up to two years after leaving TAFDC as long as they continue to meet all eligibility thresholds.

Eligible families apply for benefits through DTA and are referred to a local Child Care Resources and Referral (CCR&R) agency that supports the family in locating appropriate child care. The subsidy itself is funded by EEC. EEC contracts with child care providers who hold slots available for families receiving a TAFDC child care subsidy.

The average number of children per month benefiting from this subsidy has decreased over the past 3 years with around 16,750 kids receiving support each month in FY 2013, 15,900 kids during FY 2014, and around 14,650 during FY 2015. This decline parallels an overall decline in the number of families receiving support through TAFDC. The TAFDC caseload has dropped significantly in the past few years from around 53,000 in the fall of 2013 to 40,542 in December 2014.

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