Child Care Services Guide - D-600: Child Care for Children Experiencing Homelessness

This section describes eligibility requirements and determination for children who are experiencing homelessness, as required by §809.52.

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D-601: Child Care Eligibility for Children Experiencing Homelessness

For a child experiencing homelessness, as defined in the McKinney-Vento Act definition of homelessness (see A-100 and D-601.a), the Local Workforce Development Board (Board) must ensure that the child is initially enrolled for a period of three months.

Boards must ensure the following:

  • If, during the three-month initial enrollment period, the parent of a child experiencing homelessness is unable to provide documentation verifying that the child’s age and citizenship or legal immigration status meet the requirements described in D-101, child care is discontinued following the three-month enrollment period.
  • If, during the three-month initial enrollment period, the parent of a child experiencing homelessness provides documentation of participation at any level in work, training, or education, child care continues through the end of the 12-month initial eligibility period, inclusive of the three-month initial enrollment period.

Rule Reference: §809.52

Boards must be aware that if a family experiencing homelessness owes a recoupment to a Board, the family is not eligible for child care services until the recoupment is repaid in full.

Rule Reference: §809.117

D-601.a:  McKinney-Vento Definition of Homelessness

Boards must be aware that Subtitle VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Act defines homeless children as “individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.”

The definition includes:

  • Children and youths sharing the housing of other individuals due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; living in motels, hotels, trailer parks or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; living in emergency or transitional shelters; abandoned in hospitals; or awaiting foster care placement
  • Children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings
  • Children and youths living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations or similar settings
  • Migratory children who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this subtitle because the children are living in circumstances described in this section

Law Reference: McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Improvements Act of 2001, §725

D-601.b: Documenting Eligibility under the McKinney-Vento Act

Boards must be aware that the following documentation is acceptable for verifying homelessness under the McKinney-Vento Act:

  • Written, electronic, or telephone verification from other agencies that have served the child or family and identified the child as experiencing homelessness (for example, local school district, homeless shelter, community-based and faith-based organizations that serve homeless families, other governmental and human services programs).
  • Referral or documentation from other workforce program under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.
  • Completion of the Residency Information Form or similar Board-developed form.

Note: Boards must be aware that a parent’s self-attestation is sufficient for completing the Residency Information Form.

D-601.c: Family Income Eligibility for Children Experiencing Homelessness

Boards must be aware that families with children meeting the definition of “experiencing homelessness” are not required to submit income eligibility documentation for initial eligibility or during the 12-month eligibility period, if determined eligible for continued care as described in D-601.

D-601.d: Initial Activity for Parents with Children Experiencing Homelessness

Boards must be aware that parents with children meeting the definition of “experiencing homelessness” are not required to demonstrate participation in work or training during the initial three months of eligibility for child care services.

D-601.e: Costs Associated with Child Care Services During the Initial Eligibility for Children Experiencing Homelessness

Boards must be aware that if a child experiencing homelessness, for whom care was initially authorized, is subsequently determined to be ineligible, the services provided before such determination will not be considered an improper payment.

D-601.f: Tracking Initial Eligibility for Children Experiencing Homelessness

Boards must ensure that Workforce Solutions Office staff uses TWIST to track each customer’s three-month window for providing documentation of eligibility for continuing services. When child care is provided based on an initial eligibility determination, staff must enter an "Activity Interruption" into TWIST "Program Detail."

Boards must be aware that families experiencing homelessness may provide complete documentation of eligibility at time of enrollment. In these instances there is no requirement to track the initial three months of care, and Board contractor staff must not enter an "Activity Interruption" into TWIST.

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D-602: Continuing Eligibility for Children Experiencing Homelessness

Boards must ensure that a child’s general eligibility regarding age; citizenship or legal immigration status; and the parent’s participation in work, training, or education activities at any level is verified and documented by the end of the initial three months of child care in order for care to continue. When eligibility is fully established and documented within three months of the initial eligibility determination, child care services must continue for the duration of 12 months starting from the initial eligibility determination date.

Boards must ensure that verification of the parents’ participation in work, training, or education at any level is a requirement for child care to continue after the initial eligibility period.

Rule Reference: §809.52

Boards must be aware that families experiencing homelessness are considered income eligible based on their homeless status, regardless of actual income. In the event a family determined to be experiencing homelessness reports income, calculation and verification of income must not be conducted (see A-100).

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D-603: Parent Share of Cost for Children Experiencing Homelessness

Boards must ensure that when eligibility is determined based on a child experiencing homelessness, no parent fee is assessed for the duration of the 12-month eligibility period.

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Part A - Definitions

Part H - Consumer Education and Child Care Quality Activities

Part J - Appendix