Department of Human Services
Child Care Certificate Program Online Policy Manual
PARENT CONSUMER EDUCATION
At a minimum, each parent should receive the following information:
· The types of care covered by the Certificate Program, including both regulated and unregulated care;
· What to look for in selecting a provider;
· The Star Quality rated license program in Tennessee;
· The Department’s child care provider website address;
· How to file a child care complaint with the Department;
· How to file a report of suspected program abuse or fraud;
· Basic information on childhood immunizations;
· Opportunities for health coverage for the child; and
· The federal IRS Earned Income Tax Credit and Dependent Care Credit programs as income supports in covering the full cost of care.
Child Care Resource and Referral Center
Child Care Resource and Referral Centers (CCR&R) are available statewide and are a resource for parents who need additional information about early education. Parents should be referred to the CCR&R for special assistance in locating a child care provider or specialized providers If needed.
Parental Choice is a vital component of child care assistance. The following guidelines ensure that parents are presented with as many options for care as possible:
· Parents will not be referred or “steered” to a specific provider by DHS staff.
· DHS Staff shall not accept gifts, gratuities, or favors from a child care provider.
· DHS staff may advise parents of the weekly rates or other miscellaneous fees of a provider when asked by the parent.
· DHS staff will advise parents that they are responsible for any cost difference when providers charge more than the state rate, as long as the provider advises them of the cost difference and the client agrees, in writing, to pay the difference.
· DHS staff will directly assist a parent who reports difficulty in finding care.
· DHS staff will provide a list of all providers in the parent’s area if needed to assist in locating child care.
Parental Choice and Department of Children Services (DCS) Arrangements
DCS child care arrangements are typically made by the DCS caseworker.
DHS staff will assist DCS or the foster parent if necessary in locating an available and/or affordable arrangement.