Eligible applicants may request funding to expand or implement a wide range of employer-supported child care benefits, empowering them to choose what is most appropriate for their workforce or local employer community. More information is available in the Allowable Expense Guide, which outlines how funds may work across individual, group or community-wide employer efforts, and provides detail for allowable and unallowable expenses. Requests can be made in ONE of the following categories:
- Sponsoring Dependent Care Assistance Plans
DCAPs are flexible spending accounts, like accounts used for health care costs. Employers and employees can contribute to these accounts, setting aside up to $5,000 annually in pretax household income for child care expenses.
- Providing On-site or Near-Site Child Care
Companies may choose to offer custom on-site or near-site child care programs for individuals or groups of employers. Companies provide space and contract with a child care provider to operate the program. Employers often choose to subsidize tuition costs for priority employee groups and may decide to make a portion of seats available to the broader community.
- Establishing Priority Waitlist Partnerships
As an alternative to on-site child care, employers may partner with local child care programs to establish priority access for employees at specified programs. In this model, child care programs offer waitlist and placement services to employers.
- Offering Tuition Benefits
Employers may also offer child care tuition benefits to employees, sharing the cost of care with employees (often using a sliding scale model). In this model, employers set the parameters for how and where employees can use tuition benefits (e.g., child care tuition discounts offered for families enrolling in licensed, high-quality care programs) while still providing families with a broad range of choices to decide the programs best for them.
- Reserving Seats in Local Child Care Programs
Employers may partner with local programs to reserve seats for exclusive access by priority employee groups. Priority groups can be defined based on specific community need. In this model, the company pays enrollment costs for vacant seats to ensure their availability when needed. This benefit is common in companies facing high turnover in specific roles.
- Providing Backup Care Options
Sick days, holidays and school breaks create challenges for parents trying to balance home and work demands. Some employers provide backup care services for employees through partnerships with local child care and out-of-school time partners. Typically, employees receive a certain number of days (or credits) for use in approved partner programs in the case of emergency or short-term coverage needs.
- Community Infrastructure Investments
Employers invest in a shared fund (generally operated by a local nonprofit organization) to support child care infrastructure costs such as increasing community-wide child care capacity (i.e., creation of a new child care program), expanding shared services that increase provider sustainability, investing in early care and education workforce programs/services, etc.
- TriShare Programs
Note: Applicants must contribute at a minimum, an additional 10% of the total funding request through in-kind or monetary contributions.. In addition, awardees are required to keep expenditure records and supporting documentation related to how funding was spent for state and federal reporting purposes.