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Day Care Eligibility Guidelines & Payment Procedures

The charts below indicate income standards used to determine eligibility and how fees for Non-Temporary [Public] Assistance Day Care Services are calculated.

Eligibility Guidelines

Effective June 1, 2024 - May 31, 2025  - Annual Income Limit numbers are 85% of the NYS Median Income

Family Size 85% SMI for New York Monthly Income 85% SMI for New York - Income Standards
1 $4,707.37 $56,488.48 
2 $6,155.80 $73,869.56 
3 $7,604.22 $91,250.63 
4 $9,052.64 $108,631.70 
5 $10,501.06 $126,012.77 
6 $11,949.49 $143,393.84 
7 $12,221.07 $146,652.80 
8 $12,492.65 $149,911.75 
9 $12,764.23 $153,170.70 
10 $13,035.80 $156,429.65 

How much will it cost?

Day Care fees are based on the amount of family income that exceeds the current Income Eligibility Standard [100%] and calculated as follows:

Formula For Determining Day Care Fees:

Annual Gross Income - State Income Standard x 1% = Weekly Fee
              รท 52 [weeks]

Please Note: there is one basic fee for a family regardless of the number of children receiving day care services. The day care fee is deducted from the youngest child receiving care and the parent must pay the fee directly to the provider. Temporary Assistance Cases do not pay a fee.

Market Rates:

The New York State Office of Children and Family Services establishes rates based on the county where care is provided, type of provider, and the age of the child.

The Child Care Market Rate is used to determine the maximum amount that ECDSS may authorize for the cost of child day care. The actual cost of care is the actual rate charged by the provider to the general public.

The amount authorized by ECDSS will be for the actual cost of care, up to the Market Rate.

Payment Procedures:

The only payments made to providers are for actual services rendered and previously authorized by the Erie County Department of Social Services, per NYCRR415.

Temporary [Public] Assistance Case Approval and Payment Procedure

  • Parent selects a child care provider.
  • Parent and provider complete and sign the Child Care Questionnaire (B-2923).
  • Parent submits the Child Care Questionnaire to their Temporary Assistance worker with employment and/or training verification.
  • If the parent selects a legally exempt provider (e.g. family member or friend), the parent and provider also complete the Legally Exempt Enrollment packet and mail to: The Child Care Resource Network, 1000 Hertel Ave., Buffalo, NY 14216. Phone number is (716) 877-6666. Packets are available from the Comprehensive Employment Division or the Temporary Assistance worker.
  • The Temporary Assistance worker determined the amount of time needed by the parent for child care and enters the information into the CCTA (Child Care Time and Attendance) system.
  • The Temporary Assistance worker authorizes and mails an Approval notice (OCFS-4779) and Provider Schedule to the parent. The Provider Schedule is also mailed to the provider.
  • Timesheets are mailed monthly to the child care provider for completion or the provider may enter attendance on the Web. Instructions will be sent to the provider or if the legally exempt provider provides child care in the parent's home then the parent will receive instructions. 
  • Once attendance is submitted, accounting will calculate the payment and issue a check to the provider, or parent if the legally exempt child care provider provides child care in the parent's home.
  • Temporary Assistance parents are eligible to receive 12 months child care unless they are disengaged in a work activity and/or employment for more than 3 months.
  • When child care assistance is discontinued within the 12-month authorization, a Notice of Intent to Discontinue Child Care Benefits (OCFS-LDSS-4782) is sent to the parent and a Provider Cancellation Letter is sent to the provider.

Child Care Services [Non-Temporary Assistance] Case Payment Procedure -

  • All clients approved for child care benefits will be given an approval letter (OCFS - 4779) and a provider schedule.
  • A schedule will be mailed to their provider.
  • Upon receipt of the approved schedule, the provider may provide child care services. The approved schedule guarantees payment for the services outlined in the approved schedule.
  • The calculated family share must be paid directly to the provider. Erie County will pay an amount equaling the provider's rate [not exceeding the Current Market Rate] minus the family share.