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Kansas Department for Children and Families Child Care Assistance Program

Child Care Assistance, also known as child care subsidy, is available for qualifying families who need help paying for child care costs. With this program, families can find and keep quality child care, which benefits everyone.

Who is eligible for Child Care Assistance?

The Kansas Department for Children and Families’ Child Care Assistance Program supports many types of families:

  • Working families who meet initial income eligibility requirements
  • Some families participating in qualified education or training
  • Teen parents completing high school or their GED
  • Families who receive Cash Assistance (TANF) and take part in work programs
Check Eligibilitylaunch

The Child Care Assistance program helps eligible families have the same choice and options for child care as families who pay out of pocket for care by:

  • Sharing with you the provider types (centers, family child care, relative providers, etc.) available to care for your child
  • Telling you the amount of child care assistance you are eligible for and the amount, if any, you may be responsible for paying to your provider
  • Reimbursing your provider at a rate that takes into consideration the cost of providing care what they charge families who do not receive subsidies 

If you are a family who is facing homelessness, already is homeless, or a foster caregiver please note: Children facing homelessness or a move because of a natural disaster or foster care may have trouble getting documents for enrollment. That’s why special child care assistance rules allow those children to enter care while giving extra time to provide documents. These documents include those for immunizations or a health assessment. Child care providers can have 60 days to get the needed documents.

Is the Kansas Child Care Assistance program right for you?

  • You must apply and be able to act on your own behalf.
  • The family and the child must live in Kansas.
  • The child must be under age 13. Certain exceptions apply.
  • You must provide all requested income and other information.
  • If parents are absent from the home, the parent or guardian in the home must work with Child Support Services.

Maximum Monthly Income When You First Apply:

  • Family of 2: $4,737
  • Family of 3: $5,851
  • Family of 4: $6,966
  • Family of 5: $8,081
  • Family of 6: $9,195

Child Care Assistance is funded by the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF). CCDF promotes family economic independence and access to affordable, high-quality early care and afterschool programs for all children.

How do I choose a provider?  

DCF enrolled providers can be found at Child Care Aware of Kansas or by calling 1-877-678-2548.  Licensed providers can also apply to become enrolled with DCF. Certain relatives may be eligible to become a DCF enrolled provider. Please see the Parent-Provider Partnership (Spanish) manual for more information.

How does my provider get paid?

If you are approved, you will receive your funds through a Kansas Benefits Card and are responsible for paying your provider. The Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Kansas Benefits card is like a debit card. You can also manage your benefits on the ebtEDGE mobile app or the cardholder login on Assistance is deposited on the Kansas Benefits Card every month. More information on how to use the card will be sent if you are eligible.

Questions? We have answers!

It’s normal to have questions when applying for services. Contact 1-888-369-4777 or email [email protected] to get answers.


Is there an age limit for child care?

Child Care Assistance is typically for children from birth to age 13. Child Care Assistance may be approved for children ages 13-18 if there is an allowable need or if the child isn’t physically or mentally able to care for themselves.

What is an allowable need?

Typically, this is a need for care during the hours when a parent is in school or at work. Care to allow the child to socialize or to give parents a break is not an allowable need for Child Care Assistance.  

What if my child has special needs?

The enhanced rate ($7.25 per hour) is designed to help pay for any additional care that may be needed for a child with a physical, mental, or emotional disability. The child must require care above and beyond what is typical for a child of that age, even if it is not a permanent disability. 

You will need to supply documentation of the need from a professional, and the individual providing additional care will need to submit a written statement explaining the type of care they will be providing and any training they have that qualifies them to provide that care.

What if my child is not a US citizen?

To qualify for Child Care Assistance, a child must be a US citizen or a qualifying non-citizen.

Child Care Provider

What if I cannot find a child care provider?

If you still are having difficulty finding a DCF-enrolled child care provider after contacting Child Care Aware of Kansas at 1-877-678-2548, you may use a qualified relative of the child, which include grandparent, great-grandparent, aunt, uncle, or adult sibling.

Can I use my Kansas Benefits Card to pay a provider who provides care in the child’s home?

Yes, if the provider is a DCF-enrolled In-Home Relative provider. They must be a qualified relative of the child. These include grandparent, great grandparent, aunt, uncle, or adult sibling.

You are unable to use the EBT card to pay for care provided by providers who are not enrolled with DCF. 

Does a provider have to be related to every child in their care in order to qualify as a relative provider?

Yes. To qualify as a relative provider, the provider must be related to all children in their care. For example, if you have three children from the same family, but the person willing to provide care is only related to one of the children, that person would only be considered a relative provider for that one child.

Who should my provider contact if they are licensed but not yet DCF-enrolled?

If you know of a licensed child care provider who wants to enroll with DCF, add their information to an application or change form so Child Care program staff can send a referral to DCF provider enrollment staff. They can also visit the Child Care in Kansas DCF enrolled providers page for more information. 


What does Child Care Assistance pay for?

The Child Care Assistance program will pay for the cost, or a portion of the cost, of regular child care and enrollment fees. The parent or guardian will receive a copy of the family plan, which will specify the benefit amount calculated for each individual child with their individual providers. You can view the income and family share chart.

How will I pay my DCF-enrolled provider?

All Child Care benefits are issued on an EBT card. The EBT card is activated using the number on the back of the card, and a PIN is selected. You will also need your provider’s 7-digit CC Provider ID (it starts with a letter). Then, you can pay your provider by:

  • Using your provider’s point-of-sale machine
  • Using,
  • Using the EBT mobile app, or

Calling the EBT customer care number: 1-800-997-6666

When will I get a Kansas Benefits Card?

The card will be received 5 to 7 business days after the benefits have been authorized. If the initial month of eligibility is a future month, the card is not sent until the monthly benefit authorization is sent to the EBT contractor. If you have previously had one and it is still active, benefits will be put on that card.

What if I lose my card?

If you have lost an active card, please contact ebtEDGE to report your card lost at 1-800-997-6666.