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Child care aid program offered

More moderate- to low-income families in North Dakota will qualify for help with child care costs through the North Dakota Department of Human Services' Child Care Assistance Program. North Dakota increased qualifying income levels and reduced family co-payments for the program, which helps income-eligible families pay for child care while they work or attend school or training.

A family of three now can have a gross income up to $4,915 per month to qualify for the program. Families will also see a reduction in their monthly co-payments, which is the amount they are required to pay toward the cost of care. A co-payment is determined on a sliding scale based on income and family size.

"The cost of child care can take up a large portion of a family's income," said Carol Cartledge, state Department of Human Services' Economic Assistance Policy Division director. "These changes will help more working families afford quality child care for their children while they work or pursue training or education."

Families can apply online at or by contacting a county social service office. County contact information is online at www. Parents need to provide a form of identification, children's birth certificates, pay stubs for all income in the previous and current month and a work or education schedule.

This program pays for care provided by licensed and other regulated child care providers. County staff can provide parents with details about qualifying child care providers.

North Dakota's Child Care Assistance Program serves about 2,420 children per month. The average monthly payment per family is $407. Assistance amounts vary with the lowest-income families receiving the most help.

The program is funded by the federal Child Care and Development Block Grant along with state funds. The department, along with county social service offices, and Child Care Resource and Referral work to connect families to the program.

For more information on the Child Care Assistance Program, visit www.nd. gov/dhs/services/financialhelp/childcare.html or contact the Economic Assistance Policy Division of the North Dakota Department of Human Services at 701-328-2332, toll free 800-755-2716, ND Relay TTY 800-366-6888 or dhseap@nd.g