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Application Process

Applying for the First Time

If this is your first time applying for child care subsidy, please be advised that you must be the parent or legal guardian of the child receiving subsidy benefits and must apply in the county in which you reside. The information provided below will help you with the application process.

If you meet the eligibility criteria provided in the "Do I Qualify" section of the website, you are ready to begin the process of applying for child care subsidy.

  • Contact your County Child Care Worker who will either assist you with the process or provide you with the name and location of the responsible agency in your county.
  • The agency will inform you whether you need to schedule an appointment or stop by to apply for services. The agency can also notify you of the documentation that is necessary to determine eligibility.
  • During your visit, the agency will assess your family size and financial situation to determine eligibility.
  • The agency has thirty (30) calendar days from the date the application is signed to determine eligibility. Typically, the eligibility assessment results will be provided to you during your visit, assuming that all required documentation is provided. If additional documentation is required, a timeframe for returning the information will be established. Once the documentation is returned, the eligibility assessment can be completed.
  • If you are eligible for subsidized child care services, the agency issues a Child Care Voucher to you for each eligible child. The voucher indicates that the child is eligible for a subsidized child care payment and notifies the provider of the hours care is needed and the portion of the fee that you are responsible to pay.

How Do I Continue to Receive Subsidy Benefits?
Eligibility determination is valid for twelve (12) months for child care services, provided the recipient remains eligible.

  1. Throughout the year, recipients must report to a child care worker in the agency changes in their circumstances that may affect eligibility within ten (10) working days of the change.
  2. Recipients are required to report the following: 
    • Change of contact information including address and telephone number.
    • Increase in income that exceeds 85% SMI (this should NOT include irregular income fluctuations) based on the SMI chart posted on the DCDEE website
    • Recipient is no longer employed, no longer in an education setting, or has any other temporary change in their need for child care. 
    • Change in recipient’s choice of provider is needed or wanted. 
    • Recipient needs or wants to end child care services. ‚Äč

If you are not sure about whether to report a particular change, then you should contact your child care social worker for clarification.

In order for an individual to continue to receive subsidized child care services, eligibility must be redetermined every twelve (12) months.

NOTICE: Global Site Search function is currently under maintenance and will not provide results. We apologize for the inconvenience. This does not impact the Child Care or Kindergarten searches.




2201 Mail Service Center | Raleigh, NC 27699-2200
919-814-6300 | 1-800-859-0829 (In State Only)
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