Colorado Child Care Assistance Program

  • Information for Families

    The Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCCAP) helps families that are homeless, working, searching for work or in school find low-income child care assistance. Families that are enrolled in the Colorado Works Program can also use CCCAP services.

    Each county's Department of Social/Human Services and the Colorado Office of Early Childhood, Division of Early Care and Learning manage the CCCAP program. Each county sets eligibility requirements for families, but must help families that have an income of 165% or less of the federal poverty guideline. Counties will not serve families that have an income over 85% of the state median income.

    View the Family Income Guidelines for CCCAP eligibility.

  • Apply for CCCAP

    You can apply for CCCAP online, by mail or by contacting your county's department of human/social services. If you are using the paper application, you must submit it to your county department of human/social services in person or by mail.

    Employment information

    When you first apply for low-income child care assistance, your child care worker may contact your employer by phone to verify hours and wages. You have 30 days to give written verification of your employment or education program. If verification is not completed, you will not receive benefits. Let your child care worker know immediately if you cannot get the verification information.

    Selecting a child care provider

    You are responsible for selecting a child care provider for your children. You can select a licensed child care center, a licensed family child care home, or a friend, neighbor or relative caretaker. You will have to decide the type of care that is best for your children and meets your family's needs. When choosing a provider, look for signs that your child will be safe, comfortable, and encouraged to grow and learn. The Colorado Shines child care search identifies licensed providers that accept CCCAP and provides helpful tips to find child care.

    Before you take your child to your chosen provider, you need to contact your county department of human/social services so they can authorize care. They will need the name, address and phone number of the provider along with whether or not they are licensed. Failure to notify the county may require you to pay the provider directly for any child care costs incurred.

    Notifying the county of changes

    While in the low-income child care program, you must notify your county department of human/social services of any change in your eligibility activity within four weeks of the change. You must also notify the county if your income is greater than the maximum allowed amount of 85% of the State Median Income. If your children need a child care schedule change, you must also report this to the county.

    Completing your low-income redetermination

    Every 12 months, you will be sent a Redetermination of Eligibility Form. The county department of human/social services uses this information to determine if you still meet the eligibility requirements of the program. You must turn in the signed form along with supporting verification, such as 30 days of paycheck stubs and your work schedule, in the time specified or your child care benefits will end.

    Other child care assistance programs

    • Work with your Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) technician to receive Colorado Works child care assistance.
    • ​Work with your Child Welfare worker to receive child welfare child care assistance.
  • Use your CCCAP Card

    Learn how to swipe your CCCAP card here (full length video) or here (short video). Click here to learn about common errors parents experience, and how to ensure a correct swipe.

    Please note: Beginning in fall 2017, the new CCCAP attendance system will allow you to record and monitor your child’s attendance from your child care provider's computer, tablet or smartphone using a unique personal identification number and valid email address.

  • Pay Your Parent Fees

    You are required to pay a portion of your child care costs. The amount paid is based on your gross income, the number of people in your household, and the number of children in care.

    The fee should be paid directly to your child care provider at the beginning of each month, and it is the first payment the provider will receive for providing care for your children. If you fail to pay the parent fee, child care benefits may end and you may be unable to receive benefits in the future. Your parent fees must be paid even if you change child care providers.

    The parent fee covers the amount of care agreed upon between you and the county department of human/social services. This amount is shown on your Child Care Assistance Program Authorization Eligibility Notice.

    Providers cannot charge you more than the county's rate for your authorized child care. However, providers can charge you for any hours used beyond your approved hours and late fees if you pick up your child after hours

  • Moving From One County to Another

    If you move from one county to another, there is no guarantee that your low-income child care benefits will transfer. Each county may have different eligibility criteria for low-income child care.

    Before you move, you must inform your county department of human/social services. They can contact the county you are moving to and find out if your services can be transferred to the new county.

Questions? Need more information?

Contact your county's department of human/social services.