Considering Becoming a CCAP Provider

Helping Families. Supporting Communities. Empowering Individuals.

Are you considering becoming a CCAP child care provider?

IDHS' Child Care Assistance Program provides low-income, working families with access to affordable, quality child care that allows them to continue working and contributes to the healthy, emotional and social development of the child. CCAP can help families pay for care in center-based or home settings. Families are required to cost-share on a sliding scale based on family size and income. This page will provide you with the information you need to consider the different types of child care providers approved by the State of Illinois.

IDHS Child Care Assistance Program Training Requirements

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) partners with child care providers to serve low income families through the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP). To help ensure the health and safety of children, the Federal government is now requiring that providers complete specific health, safety and child development training, have current CPR/First Aid certification, and complete annual training hours.

Who is required to complete training? Who benefits from this training? Where can providers get the training? For answers to these questions and others please go to our Health, Safety and Child Development Training Requirements page. 

What you need to know…

There are two categories of legal child care arrangements: Licensed and Exempt from Licensing.

Providers must be 18 or older.

Providers cannot be a parent, stepparent, adoptive parent, or legal guardian of the child.

Providers cannot be a person living in the home who is a parent of the child's sibling or has a child in common with the applicant.

Provider cannot be a member of the parent's TANF unit.

Providers are subject to background checks and cannot have certain criminal convictions or be indicated by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (IDCFS) Child Abuse and Neglect Tracking System (CANTS). Matrix of Persons Subject to Background Checks

For more detailed information, access the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) Policy Manual.

Child care arrangements

There are two categories of legal child care arrangements: Licensed and Exempt from Licensing.

Licensed Child Care Arrangements

While DHS manages the child care subsidy program, licensed providers are licensed through DCFS. If you are interested in becoming a licensed child care provider in the state of Illinois, you must apply at the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).

License Exempt Child Care Arrangements

Non-licensed providers who wish to care for subsidized children through this program, must pass a background check consisting of three elements:

  1. CANTS (Child Abuse and Neglect Tracking System) check
  2. Illinois and/or National Sex Offender Registries (SORS)
  3. Criminal Background Check (done through fingerprinting)

Your Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agency will inform you of which elements need completed and how to do this. Use the CCR&R Office Locator to find the office that services your county.

  • Types of Exempt Child Care Arrangements and IDCFS Standards/Procedures
    • Child Care Center Exempt from Licensing
    • Child Care Home Exempt from Licensing
    • Relative Exempt from Licensing - care in the home of the provider
    • Relative Exempt from Licensing - care in the home of the child

CCAP Family Eligibility Determination

Eligibility can only be determined by the CCR&Rs or contracted Site Administered child care centers.

The provider must decide if they will provide care before the case is approved and how or if to charge the parent while eligibility is being determined. The parent must apply for and be found eligible for child care assistance in order for IDHS to pay for services. The provider must review the application before it is submitted and agree to the points listed and sign the Provider Certification section of the Child Care Application.

Child Care Assistance Program Eligibility Calculator - a tool designed for both clients and providers to get an estimate of the family's eligibility and co-payment.

CCAP Billing Information/Payments

  • IDHS Child Care Telephone Billing System for Providers
  • The Illinois Debit MasterCard® card is a fast, convenient and secure method of receiving your payments. DHS offers this program for licensed and licensed-exempt home Child Care Providers.
  • Direct Deposit of CCAP payments into your existing bank account can be set up by contacting the Illinois Office of the Comptroller by calling 217-557-0930.
  • Child Care Payment Inquiry - (800) 804-3833 a toll-free number that child care providers can use to check if their child care certificate has been entered for payment and an approximate mail date.
  • Child Care Payment Rates - Rates apply to all child care except the adult/teen/child care disregard.
  • Parent Co-Payment Information - What the parent pays once they have been approved for child care benefits.

CCAP Program Monitoring

A child care provider who participates in the Illinois Department of Human Services Child Care Program is subject to and must cooperate with a monitoring review of their records to ensure that the services billed to the Department are adequately documented.

Providers must have available all child attendance records for the past 5 (five) years during the CCAP monitoring visit. Providers may be charged an overpayment if their attendance records do not support the provider's billing certificates submitted to the CCR&R for payment

For more information on monitoring Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) providers, see the CCAP Policy Manual section 07.10.01.

Resources available to Child Care Providers

  • Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agencies throughout Illinois that are assigned to work with both licensed and license exempt providers. CCR&Rs provide the following services for parents and /or providers:
    • Provide parents with consumer education and referrals to child care in their communities;
    • Deliver training, consultation, and assistance to providers in order to improve the quality of care offered;
    • Help develop new child care resources in communities where they are needed;
    • Assemble and maintain an accurate child care database to provide up-to-date information to parents; and
    • Record and analyze data on child care supply and demand to support community capacity building.
  • ExceleRate is a system designed to make continuous quality improvement an everyday priority among early learning providers. The program establishes standards for helping children develop intellectually, physically, socially and emotionally. All programs that are licensed in the State of Illinois are included in ExceleRate at the Licensed Circle of Quality. There are three Circles of Quality programs can work towards and achieve beyond Licensed: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Programs with a Silver or Gold Circle of Quality receive a quality-add on to the standard CCAP rates.
  • Great START - provides wage supplements to eligible practitioners working in licensed centers and homes.
  • Gateways to Opportunity Scholarship Program - is an individual-based scholarship opportunity for practitioners working in licensed centers and homes.
  • Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) - a federally-funded program operated by the Illinois State Board of Education that provides monthly reimbursement to eligible participating child care providers for serving nutritious meals and snacks.

More Information/Helpful Links/Reports