*Any information provided herein is for general reference purposes only. Official publications are available with the Office of Early Childhood.
Click on a question below to view more information on the subject.
- How do I know if I am eligible for Care 4 Kids?
- How do I apply for Care 4 Kids?
- How much will Care 4 Kids pay?
- What if I am self-employed?
- Who can be a Care 4 Kids child care provider?
- How do I choose a child care provider?
- How do I contact Care 4 Kids?
How do I know if I am eligible for Care 4 Kids?
You can use the income guidelines table to see if your family income meets the Care 4 Kids requirements. It does not guarantee that you are eligible for the program, but will give you an idea if your income is within the program’s limits. You need to apply for the program to be sure you are eligible because some of your income may not be countable for this program.
There are a number of other requirements, too. You need to live in Connecticut and be working or attending a Jobs First training or education activity. Your children need to be under age 13 (or under age 19 if the child has special needs).
Remember, for more information call 1-888-214-KIDS (5437).
Use the income guidelines table to find out if your family income meets Care 4 Kids requirements.
Care 4 Kids is providing families with longer eligibility with limited reporting of changes.
- Increase from an 8 month certificate to a 12 month certificate.
- Families who lose their job or stop an approved activity will be given a 3 month job search certificate.
- Families will only need to report the following changes:
- Loss of employment or loss of an approved training activity
- Change of child care provider
- Income over 85% of the State Median Income (SMI)
- Child receiving Care 4 Kids benefits is no longer in the home
- Address/phone number
How do I apply for Care 4 Kids?
Start by filling out a Care 4 Kids Application. You can print
one off of this website Care 4 Kids Application Form
You can also call 1-888-214-KIDS (5437) and ask that one
be sent to you.
You will be asked to send back certain documents,
like paycheck stubs, with your completed Application.
If you have already chosen a child care provider, you and the
provider need to fill out and return a Parent-Provider Agreement
Form called a PPA. You need to fill out a separate PPA for each provider you use.
Care 4 Kids reviews your Application and PPA. If your case is granted, you are sent an approval letter with a Child Care Certificate that authorizes payment.
If your Application is not approved, you are sent a letter explaining why your Application cannot be approved at this time.
If you have completed filling out an Application, but have not chosen a provider, you can send in the Application anyway. When you and the provider complete the PPA, send it in. Child Care Certificates cannot be issued until the PPA is received.
How much will Care 4 Kids pay?
The amount Care 4 Kids pays is decided at the time the Certificate is created. A number of different factors are used.
For the family, the program looks at:
- the parents’ work or training schedule;
- the age of the child;
- the hours of care the child needs;
- if the child has special needs; and
- the countable family income.
For the provider, the program looks at:
- where the provider is located in the state;
- the type of provider; and
- if the provider is accredited (click here for accreditation information)
Working families in Care 4 Kids are required to pay a Family Fee. This fee is set by the program and is listed on the Child Care Certificate. Click here to see a sample Child Care Certificate.
Care 4 Kids may not cover all of the provider’s charges for child care. The family is responsible for the Family Fee and all child care charges not covered by the program. The family pays the provider directly for charges above the amount paid by Care 4 Kids.
Click below to see a chart of the Care 4 Kids Payment Rates:
What if I am self-employed?
At Application, self-employed individuals must be earning taxable income at the time they initially request assistance.
At Redetermination, self-employed individuals must be earning an hourly wage that is at or above State of Connecticut’s current minimum wage. This is calculated based on the weekly or monthly income earned divided by the number of hours involved in the work activity. Individuals should submit the verification that shows the current business income.
- Individuals who filed a business tax return last year and whose income has not changed significantly can provide the IRS 1040 and Schedule C.
- Individuals whose business has changed significantly over the past year or did not file business income tax return last year may use the Care 4 Kids Self-Employment Form.
Who can be a Care 4 Kids child care provider?
Families choose the child care provider they want for their children.
Care 4 Kids can help pay for care:
- with a relative in the child’s home or their own home;
- in a day care center, family day care home, or a group day care home that is licensed by the CT Department of Public Health;
- in a public or private school-based child care program that passes a health and safety inspection by the Office of Early Childhood Licensing Program.
How do I choose a child care provider?
Choosing a child care provider for your child is a very important decision. You want to look for a place that gives your child a safe, child-centered environment and supports the child’s growth and development.
You want to find the right place and people to care for your child. The best way to do that is to visit a center or home. You need to observe and interview the people providing care and evaluate the location.
Look for a provider who:
- is warm and caring..how does she/he deal with a crying child?
- is attentive and responsive…how does she/he talk to children?
- wants to be a child care provider…why is she/he a child care provider?
- wants to learn more about children…does she/he attend classes or read articles on children?
- plans experiences for the children…what does she/he plan for the children to do each day?
- has a support system…does she/he talk to other providers or belong to a group?
- follows business practices…does she/he ask for a phone number where you can be reached during the day?
Here is a checklist you can use to evaluate your choices.
- Will my child be happy and grow in this environment?
- Is this provider affordable and available to meet my family’s child care needs?
- Do I feel good about choosing this provider?
For help finding a child care provider, call 2-1-1 Child Care at 2-1-1 or 1-800-505-1000.
Call 1-888-214-KIDS (5437) for more information about provider options.
How do I contact Care 4 Kids?
It’s easy to get help and the answers to all your questions. You can call 1-888-214-KIDS (5437) and talk with a Care 4 Kids representative from 8 am – 5 pm Monday – Friday, or from 8 am – 6 pm on Thursday.
You can mail or drop-off applications and other forms to the Care 4 Kids office. Located at:
- 1344 Silas Deane Highway
Rocky Hill, CT 06067
The drop box for Applications is located under the building.
You can contact the Care 4 Kids program with general questions through this website, click here to send a Message.