Child Care Assistance

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Introduction

The Child Care Assistance Program subsidizes the cost of child care for families at or below 200% of the federal poverty level (currently $52,400 for a family of four) that are working and/or in school. Once a family is determined to be eligible for Child Care Assistance, that family remains eligible up to 250% FPL – so a modest increase in income won’t mean losing Child Care Assistance.

The subsidy amount varies depending upon the age of the child, the type of child care, the location of the program, and the rating of the child care program (as determined by the Look for the STARS Quality Rating System). Regional offices are located throughout the state and are staffed by Eligibility Interviewers who work with families to determine the amount of subsidy they qualify for. To review child care assistance regulations, click here.

NOTICE OF PUBLIC RULE HEARING:

UPDATE: Emergency Rule Amendments to 8.15.2 NMAC – Child Care Assistance Requirements for Child Care Assistance Programs for Clients and Child Care Providers. Effective March 16, 2020. For more information, see Child Care Services.

Frequently Asked Questions About Child Care Assistance

Who may apply for Child Care Assistance?
Any parent, grandparent, or legal guardian who is working, going to school, or participating in a job training program who needs help with child care expenses.

How is eligibility determined?
Eligibility is determined by gross monthly income and family size.

What ages qualify for child care assistance?
Any child between the ages of 6 weeks and 13 years, or up to 18 years if special supervision is required.

Who may provide care for my child?  
You choose the care that is best for you and your child. Options include licensed centers, licensed child care homes, registered family child care homes, or before-and-after school programs. Search Here

How does my child care provider get paid?
The Child Care Services Bureau pays your provider directly each month based on the Department rate. You also may be required to pay a co-payment.

Is there a co-pay?
Yes, you may be required to pay a portion of your child care bill. Your co-pay is based on your income and family size.

How do I calculate my co-pay?
The following links will assist you in understanding how the co-pay is calculated:

  1. Calculation formula (PDF)
  2. Co-pay chart (2019, 2020)
  3. How to read the co-pay chart (PDF)

How do I apply for child care assistance?
Call or visit a Child Care Services Bureau field office. You will need to bring the following information with you when you apply for services:

  • Current proof of earned and unearned income (including child support income) for applicant and biological parent, step-parent, and/or legal guardian living in the household, if applicable
  • School schedule, if applicable, for applicant and biological parent, step-parent, and/or legal guardian living in the household (if applicable)
  • Verification of birth for all applicant children
  • Proof of residency
  • Name, address and phone number of the child care provider selected (for new registered home providers, the provider’s Social Security card and picture ID are required)

For more information on Child Care Assistance, contact your regional Child Care Assistance office, or call Early Childhood Services at (505) 827-7499 or 1-800-832-1321 or by email at cyfd-ecs-customerservice@state.nm.us.

Educators

Training Opportunities

External Link

How to Report Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect

External Link

Child Care Regulations (Licensed and Registered)

External Link

Other Early Care and Resources

External Link

Providers

What is Quality? FOCUS Eligibility Requirements and Application Process Child Care Assistance Reimbursement Rates

External Link

Regulations (Child Care Assistance, Child Care Licensing and Non-Licensed / Registered Homes)

External Link

How to Report Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect

External Link

Training Opportunities

External Link

How to Become a Licensed or Registered Provider

External Link

Other Early Care and Resources

External Link

Background Clearance Process

External Link

How to Contact Us (Phone List)

External Link

New Mexico Child Care and Development Fund Plan

External Link

New Mexico Child Care Emergency Preparedness Plan

External Link

Childhood Immunization Schedule

External Link