How the Program Works
Step 1: Apply to Become a Provider
All homes and centers that accept children receiving publicly-funded child care are licensed by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Provider applications are submitted to the State of Ohio Child Care department and processed by the county of residence. Counties make recommendation to ODJFS for licensure.
To learn more about how to open a Child Care Center, please visit the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
To learn more about how to become a Type A or Type B provider, or to apply, please review Applying to Become a Type B Home Child Care Provider. Applications may be obtained by contacting the ODJFS Child Care Policy Help Desk at 1-877-302-2347, option 4.
Step 2: Register a child for your care
Once approved, a provider can start registering children receiving publicly-funded child care. Before the provider accepts children into care, the provider or parent MUST report that the child plans to attend to HCJFS through a “Child Care Connection.” This connection authorizes the child to the provider.
Once you have reported a “child care connection”, you will also be scheduled for a “point of service” device installation and the caretaker (parent) will be mailed an Ohio ECC swipe card 7 to 10 business days after HCJFS approves the connection.
Step 3: Decide the Days and Hours you will care for each child
Caretakers (parents) are approved for categories of care:
- Hourly – 0 to 7 hours
- Part-time – 7 to 24.9 hours
- Full-time – 25 to 60 hours
- Full-time plus – more than 60 hours
The days and hours used by the caretaker (parent) for care is between the provider and caretaker (parent). Caretakers (parents) do not have to use hours specifically tied to their work, school or training activity. They may not use more hours than the category allows, but the specific days and times are now up to the caretaker (parent) and provider. All providers are still held to their certification or licensing limitations (staffing ratios, etc.).
Step 4: Start utilizing the Ohio ECC swipe card and Point of Service Device to Receive Payment
The provider will receive payment from two sources:
1. Publicly-Funded Child Care
New providers will be shipped a “Point of Service” device to track attendance. All families receiving publicly-funded child care will have an Ohio ECC swipe card that they use to to swipe the child in and out of care each day. By swiping the card through the point of service device, providers will be able to record a child’s attendance and will be paid accordingly. Providers can also view transactions and reports in the online system: ECC Provider Web. It is important to note that the provider is not allowed to store or use the Ohio ECC card. Doing so can result in penalties and sanctions.
2. Family Co-payments
As a provider, you will receive a notice of the state-determined co-payment for each family. Providers may collect the fee on a weekly or monthly basis, but the amount displayed for the provider in the Provider Web is a weekly amount.
Providers will be paid weekly for services delivered and recorded on the swipe card three weeks prior. During this three week window providers should review the ECC transactions to ensure accuracy for proper payment. View the payment schedule here.