Overview | Frequently Asked Questions
Research tells us that children who start school lacking basic skills have tremendous difficulty catching up, and are at greater risk for eventual school dropout. One key to helping children and youth stay in school and earn a high school diploma is to ensure that they are prepared to be successful academically when they start school. Quality early education experiences increase the likelihood that a child will begin school prepared to be successful. At Childcare Resources, we strive to make quality child care available and affordable to all families who need it.
CHILD CARE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
The average cost of child care in our service area varies by type of care, age group and county.
Available Financial Assistance Resources
Child Care Subsidy
The Office of Child Care Subsidy, a division of the Alabama Department of Human Resource, administers the subsidized child care program funded through the Child Care and Development Fund. The program provides Alabama's low-income families with equal access to child care as they participate in work, educations or training activities.
Military Child Care Assistance
The National Association of Child Care and Resource and Referral Agencies, through a partnership with the Department of Defense, offers military families child care assistance. The program subsidizes active duty and /or deployed service member's child care fees if they are unable to access child care on a military base. For
information call 1-800-424-2246 or visit www.naccrra.org.
Child and Dependent Care Credit is available to people who, in order to work or to look for work, must pay for child care for dependents under the age of 13. The credit is also available to those who pay for the care of a spouse or a dependent of any age who is physically or mentally incapable of self care. The credit is a percentage, based on your adjusted gross income, of the amount of work-related child and dependent care expensed you paid to a care provider.
Earned Income Tax Credit is a refundable federal income tax credit for low-income working individuals and families. To qualify, taxpayers must meet certain requirements and file a tax return, even if they did not earn enough money to be obligated to file a tax return.
Child Tax Credit may help to reduce the federal income tax owed by up to $1,000 for each qualifying child under the age of 17. A qualifying child is one who is claimed as your dependent; was under the age of 17 at the end of the year; is your son, daughter, adopted child, grandchild, stepchild or eligible foster child, your sibling, stepsibling or their descendant and is a U.S. citizen or resident alien. The credit is limited if your modified adjusted gross income is above a certain amount. The amount as which the phase-out begins depends on your filing status.
Free Tax Preparation Service is available through the United Way of Central Alabama. Call 1-866-869-4921 or 2-1-1 for more information.
Pre-tax Accounts for child and dependent care may be available through your employer. This option requires you to estimate your annual expenses (up to $5,000 a year) and draw those funds throughout the year from an account that has been set up using pre-tax dollars from your payroll deductions. Ask your employer if this is available where you work.
Childcare Resources' Supplemental Child Care Program (SCCP)
The Childcare Resources' Supplemental Child Care Program (SCCP) assists eligible parents with paying for the cost of child care. Based on a sliding scale related to family size and income, parents pay a portion of the cost of care and Childcare Resources pays the rest.
Families must live in our central Alabama service area of Blount, Jefferson, Shelby and Walker Counties and meet income requirements. Parents must meet the work requirements and need care for children 5 years old (until eligible to start kindergarten) or younger.
Parents can choose from any legally operating child care provider that meets DHR minimum standards and is willing to accept payment from Childcare Resources. Providers must register with Childcare Resources before they can begin receiving payment from Childcare Resources.
For more information on the SCCP program, please see our fact sheet.
What Is Child Care Financial Assistance?
Child Care Financial Assistance or SCCP assists eligible parents with paying for the cost of child care. Based on the family's income, the parent pays a portion of the cost of care and Childcare Resources pays the rest.
Who Is Eligible for Financial Assistance?
A family must meet all five requirements listed below in order to be eligible for Childcare Resources' Supplemental Child Care Program (SCCP).
Financial Assistance Eligibility Requirements:
1. You MUST live in our service area - Blount, Jefferson, Shelby or Walker counties.
2. You MUST (and your spouse/partner) be working at least 35 hours per week.
3. You MUST NOT be receiving child care assistance from DHR.
4. You MUST be applying ONLY for children up to 5 years of age (until eligible to start kindergarten).
5. You MUST, according to your family size, fall within our Annual Income Eligibility Scale.
Annual Income Eligibility Scale
Who Is Counted In Family Size?
A family consists of a parent/guardian, his/her spouse, and all their dependent children under 18 years of age (related by blood, marriage, adoption, or guardianship) who reside in the same household.
What Is Counted as Family Income?
- Gross income for all family members (regular income, tips, commissions, SSI, SSA, etc.)
- All dividend and interest income.
- All alimony and child support payments.
How Do I Apply for Financial Assistance?
Childcare Resources is accepting applications for the financial aid program.
To apply for child care financial assistance, print the application, fill it out and SIGN it. Then mail the completed application to:
1904 First Avenue North
Birmingham, AL 35203
Do not fax form. Original signed copy must be submitted.
Financial Assistance Application:
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All applications will be processed within 30 days of the day we receive them. You will receive a letter notifying you of the status of your application. The letter will either
- tell you that you have been found eligible to be placed on the waiting list
- request more information to determine if you are eligible
- tell you that you are not eligible for assistance
If you do not receive a letter within 30 days of applying for SCCP assistance, please contact our office at 252-1991 ext. 302.
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