Information for Parents and Caretakers

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Could I be eligible? 

Family Size

Gross Monthly Income Initial Eligibility

Gross Monthly Income for Special Needs























How do I apply?

  • Complete and submit the following application: (click here)
  • Apply online: (click here)
  • In person at our agency during regular business hours (Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.)
  • By mailing a completed application to 239 West Main Street, Lancaster, Ohio 43130
  • By dropping a completed application in the agency drop box located in the front of our building, open 24 hours
  • By faxing a completed application to 740-689-4848
  • By email to [email protected]

I have a child with special needs

  • Families that need care for a child with a verified special need may meet income requirements for PFCC if their gross monthly income level is at or below one hundred fifty percent of the FPL.
  • Special needs child care is defined in rule 5101:2-16-01, OAC, as child care provided to a child who is less than eighteen years of age and either has one or more chronic health conditions or does not meet age appropriate expectations in one or more areas of development. This includes social, emotional, cognitive, communicative, perceptual, motor, physical, and behavioral development and that may include on a regular basis such services, adaptations, modifications, or adjustments needed to assist in the child's function or development.

What verifications are needed?

  • Proof of all household income (employment, child support, disability, unemployment, etc)
  • Birth certificates for all children needing care
  • Official school schedule if caretaker is enrolled in school
  • A valid provider must be selected prior to determining eligibility

What happens after I submit my application?

  • Child Care applications are processed by a caseworker without a face-to-face appointment.
  • To receive child care assistance, you must use a licensed child care center or a licensed family child care home. For more information on how to locate and chose quality child care visit, or call 1-855-30 child. 
  • If your child care application has been approved, your child will be authorized to receive child care while you are working, attending school, or participating in an approved activity.

I received my notice of approval, what's next?

  • When you are approved for services, if you have already reported the child care provider you plan to use, an authorization will be created to that provider. Authorization will display in the TAP system within 24 hours.

What is the Time, Attendance, and Payment (TAP) System?

  • Tap is an electronic attendance system. With the TAP system, you will record attendance using a tablet or your smart phone. The caretaker, or person eligible to pick up or drop off your child at care, will need to be added to the system with a phone number. For more information regarding the TAP system click here.
  • KinderSign is a mobile application that will be installed on a tablet at your child care program. You will sign in on the tablet to record attendance by entering your phone number and a self-created four digit PIN number.
  • KinderSmart is a smart phone application for Android and Apple i-Phones. The free KinderSmart application can be easily downloaded from the GooglePlay App store on your phone.
  • The county agency does not have the ability to edit or change information in the TAP System or Kinderconnect, For help with these programs, please contact the TAP support center at 1-833-866-1708

How does my provider actually get paid?

  • Your provider receives payment from two sources.
    1. Publicly Funded Child Care through the TAP system
    Caretakers (parents) are required to enter attendance in TAP so their selected provider can be paid. Either the caretaker (parent) or designated sponsor can record a child's attendance at the beginning and end of the day.
    2. Your Co-Payments
    Families are required to pay a weekly family co-payment as part of their eligibility for child care. Both you and your provider will receive a notice of your weekly co-payment.
    You should request a receipt for your fees. If you do not pay the fee on time, the provider can refuse to care for your children and your child care case can be terminated. If you lose your child care because of nonpayment of fees, you will not be allowed to receive child care until you pay the fees and the county agency receives verification of this payment.

How much care can I use?

  • When you are approved for Publicly Funded Child Care, you will be approved for a category of care based on the number of hours you work or attend school or training plus travel time. The categories are:
    Hourly – 0 to 7 hours each week
    Part-time – 7 to 24.9 hours each week
    Full-time – 25 to 60 hours each week
    Full-time plus – more than 60 hours each week
  • The specific hours and days a child receives care from a provider must be agreed upon by you and your provider. You may not use more hours than the category allows, but you and your provider can determine specific days and hours of care according to your actual work, school or training activity schedule.

My information has changed, how do I report it?

  • All changes in your address, income, family size and work or approved activity must be reported within 10 days of the change. Changes can be reported by calling 740-652-7889 (option 3 and then 3 again), or by email at [email protected].

What if my child will be absent from child care?

  • Let your provider know your work schedule each week.
  • Let your provider know your child will be absent as soon as possible. Failure to do so could result in termination of care with the provider.
  • If your child is absent 20 days or less in a 6-month period your child care costs will be paid as usual.
  • You only get 20 absent days per child, regardless of how many providers you use in the 6-month period.
  • If your child is absent more than 20 days in a 6-month period, you may be required to pay the full cost of care for any additional absent days. Absent days are tracked for each child. So if you have two children in care, each child can have up to 20 absent days.
  • The 6-month periods for tracking absent days are fixed.
  • The 1st period runs Jan.1 through Jun. 30.
  • The 2nd period runs Jul.1 through Dec. 31.
  • Your provider may stop your care for excessive absences.

Why do I have to reapply every 12 months?

  • The State of Ohio requires your case eligibility to be reviewed every 12 months and when there is a change in your case. At that time, you must submit current verification of your income and activity, and complete the Redetermination Application located here.

What do I do if I lose employment, stop attending school, or lose my qualifying work activity?

  • The 13 week activity gap allows caretakers who receive Publicly Funded Child Care, and lose their qualifying activity, to receive continued benefits for up to 13 weeks or until their current eligibility ends, whichever comes first.
  • The Gap Period process will benefit caretakers in the following ways:
    • It will allow caretakers to maintain uninterrupted eligibility for child care while they are searching for new employment or another qualifying activity.
    • Once the caretaker has a new activity, because of continued eligibility, their income eligibility for Publicly Funded Child Care will be determined at 300% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) instead of at 142% FPL.

If you are interested in becoming a certified family child care provider, please click here


Who can get Child Care
payment assistance?

Know the Facts
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services offers financial assistance to eligible parents and guardians to help them with child care costs while they engage in work, education, or job training. families can be eligible to have all or part of their monthly child care expenses paid on their behalf.

Are you a parent or guardian who is:

  • Employed
  • In School
  • In job training
  • Receiving Ohio Works First cash assistance
  • Homeless
  • Required by a children's services case plan to have protective child care for children living in the home
  • Your income is at or below 142% of the federal poverty level
  • Your family needs care for a child with a county-agency-verified special need, and your income is at or below 150% of the federal poverty level

    You may qualify for child care payment assistance. Applying is as easy as 1, 2, 3.
To Apply:
1. Find a Provider

Search and find a licensed
provider at

2. Have Your
Verifications Ready

  • Household information
  • Income (pay stub) information
  • Employer/school information
  • Child care provider name
    and address
  • Birth verification(s) for
    child(ren) needing care

  • 3. Apply
  • In person at your local county JFS office
  • Complete an electronic form and
    submit it to your county JFS office