Parent Requirements and the Application Process
Child Care Scholarship Approval Process
Albemarle Alliance for Children and Families (AACF) is the administering agency for the Child Care Scholarship program. Applications will be reviewed by the Child Care Scholarship Coordinator according to guidelines outlined within the Procedures Manual. The Child Care Scholarship Coordinator will review each application before a family is approved to participate in the program.
Please scroll to the bottom of this page to download the Preliminary Intake Checklist and the Recipient Responsibilities form.
Overview of Child Care Scholarship Family Guidelines
- Parent child care fees, if applicable, will amount to 10% of the gross monthly income. The family’s financial contribution is based on income as determined during the income eligibility process.
- Families must pay any additional fees (i.e. registration, activity, transportation, etc.) as required by the child care facility.
- Families may choose any three, four or five star licensed program. Children must be enrolled within 30 days of eligibility approval.
- All Child Care Scholarship recipients must report a change in their income/work/ school/ household size/address to AACF’s Child Care Scholarship Coordinator within five (5) business days of the change. Failure to do so could result in termination of the Child Care Scholarship.
- Parent fees are to be paid directly to the child care facility. Child Care Scholarships are not available to cover past due parent fees.
- All Child Care Scholarship recipients must reapply annually prior to the expiration of their current Child Care Voucher.
- All families served through the Scholarship Program are required to attend a parent orientation session with the AACF Child Care Scholarship Coordinator within 90 days of being enrolled in the program.
- Submitting inaccurate information or falsifying documents to qualify for the Child Care Scholarship may result in immediate termination from the program and possible legal action.
- The Child Care Scholarship may be terminated if the child is absent for more than five (5) days during the month without an excuse. In the event of absences exceeding five (5) days, documentation of cause for the absence(s) may be presented to the AACF Child Care Scholarship Coordinator within five (5) days of the child’s return to the child care facility. Acceptable absences might include extended illness of the child verified by a doctor’s note; death of an immediate family member; or extended illness of a parent verified by a doctor’s note. Extended absences will be approved or disapproved by the Child Care Scholarship Coordinator.
- If a child receiving a Scholarship will attend Head Start, NC Pre-K, or public school pre-kindergarten or kindergarten in the upcoming year; the parent/guardian is responsible for notifying the AACF Child Care Scholarship Coordinator of the start date. No Scholarship funds will be paid to the child care provider after the child begins attending one of the above programs.
Preliminary Application Process
A Child Care Scholarship may be provided to families demonstrating a need for child care who have been determined eligible for services, according to the guidelines established in the Child Care Scholarship Procedures Manual. Potential applicants who inquire about the Child Care Scholarship program will be provided a Child Care Scholarship Application to complete. The following conditions must be met in order to be eligible for a Child Care Scholarship.
1. Eligible County Resident
- An applicant requesting a Child Care Scholarship must be a resident of either Bertie, Camden, Currituck, Gates or Pasquotank Counties, North Carolina.
- Proof of address will be required in order to determine residency in Bertie, Camden, Currituck, Gates or Pasquotank Counties. A copy of a utility bill, telephone bill, cable bill, driver’s license, Medicaid cards, etc. in the applicant’s name would be acceptable forms of documentation.
2. Citizenship Requirement
One of the following citizenship criteria must be met in order to qualify for a Child Care Scholarship:
- Applicant is a U.S. Citizen;
- Child(ren) is a U.S. citizen;
- Applicant or child is a legal U.S. non-citizen residing in U.S. legally. The applicant’s statement regarding citizenship is accepted.
NOTE: Children who are U.S. citizens (including children born in the U.S. whose parents are not citizens or legal residents) may receive a Child Care Scholarship if all other eligibility criteria are met.
3. Age of the Child
A child must be between 0 – 5 years of age. When a child becomes eligible for kindergarten services in private or public school (turns age five (5) on or before or August 31 of that school year), the Child Care Scholarship will terminate.
However, there may be case-specific situations when it is in the best interest of the child to delay entry into the public school system. Those children may be eligible to continue receiving the scholarship until age six. An example may be when the child just meets the cutoff date to be eligible for public school but is small or immature for his/her age or has some other developmental delays and the child would benefit from continuing to receive preschool care for an additional year. The reason for the child not enrolling in public school must be documented by a professional who has evaluated the child’s readiness for school. In any case, a Child Care Scholarship will not be provided once the child turns six (6) years of age. A copy of the child’s birth certificate or alternative record (i.e., copy of shot record) will be placed in the file to show proof of age. If an alternative record is initially used, the family will be instructed to order an official birth certificate immediately and provide a copy for our records within sixty (60) days.
4. Income Eligibility
Applicants will submit preliminary information on income as required by Section IV. Calculating Gross Monthly Family Income.
Formal Application Process
Once a family has been determined eligible according to the information gathered during the preliminary application process, the applicant will complete a Child Care Scholarship Application. An appointment will be set with the applicant(s) to sign necessary forms and to receive a Child Care Voucher providing funds are available. During the formal application process, parents will complete the following steps:
- The application for a Child Care Scholarship will be reviewed by the Child Care Scholarship Coordinator to determine completeness and to ensure it is signed and dated by the parent/responsible adult.
- The parent/guardian and the Child Care Scholarship Coordinator complete the Risk Assessment Score Sheet for the child(ren).
- The parent/responsible adult will be asked to read and sign the Recipient Responsibilities for Child Care Scholarship form.
- The parent/responsible adult will receive a Child Care Voucher that they must sign, as well as, the Child Care Scholarship Coordinator and the AACF President/CEO or his appointed designee.
- The Child Care Scholarship Coordinator will explain the family contribution for the child care.
- The Child Care Scholarship Coordinator will explain that funding for the Child Care Scholarship program is contingent upon state funding received from the North Carolina Partnership for Children and may cease at any time even prior to the expiration of their Child Care Voucher.
- The Child Care Scholarship Coordinator will explain that the parent/responsible adult will be expected to comply with the review and re-determination process established by AACF. Re-determination of eligibility will be made at least every twelve (12) months.
- AACF will conduct eligibility reviews quarterly on a minimum of twenty families receiving Scholarships, with the exception of families who are enrolled in college/university courses. Families participating in post-secondary education will receive a review after each school semester.
Determining Eligibility Period
AACF will follow a rolling application process which means that applications can roll into the next fiscal year assuming that funds are still available. In almost all situations, eligibility is valid for twelve (12) months for child care services provided the parent/child/responsible adult remains eligible and that funds are still available. The twelve month period of eligibility begins on the date the application is signed.
In special situations a parent/responsible adult may be given an eligibility period of less than twelve (12) months when the need for care supports an abbreviated eligibility period. For example, child care may be approved for less than 12 months when parent/responsible adult requests child care services for a child who will soon enter kindergarten.