Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership

Created on: 
Feb 25 2016

Table of Contents

Related WACs

DEL Clarifying Information (published February 1, 2017)


Additional Information

What is the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership?

Beginning January 1, 2016, the Department of Early Learning and the DSHS Community Services Division are joining together to implement the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership (hereafter referred to as “the Partnership”).

The Partnership provides children with access to comprehensive early learning, health coordination, and whole family services, to ensure they are entering kindergarten healthy and ready to succeed. Families receiving Working Connections Child Care (WCCC) subsidies with children enrolled in the Partnership will remain eligible for a minimum of 12 months, regardless of any changes in circumstances that do not result in the client earning more than 85% of the state median income, even if the change results in the client being ineligible for WCCC.

Main Highlights of the Partnership:

  • Non-citizen children can enroll in the Partnership.
  • Household must meet eligibility criteria at application for WCCC to be eligible for the Partnership.
  • A specialized team will process all Partnership case work.
  • All children are authorized at least 23 full day units regardless of parent activity or hours in care.
  • Partnership providers are paid the same standard daily rate regardless of the age of the enrolled child.  The rates vary based on the location and type of provider.
  • When appropriate, special needs care will be authorized for Partnership children.
  • Partnership providers are not paid Field Trip or Registration fees or the Nonstandard Hours Bonus.
  • All enrolled families have a copayment.
  • Partnership providers are paid up to 30 absent/vacancy days when a child is de-enrolled from the program.  
  • Providers will report the child’s de-enrollment or vacancy by day 15 and staff will close open Partnership authorizations effective the 30th calendar day.
  • When closing Partnership authorizations, the 30th day can extend into the next month.
  • For Partnership slots providers may bill for care for a vacant slot if any part of the 30-day vacancy extends into the following calendar month.

How do clients report that a child is enrolled in the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership?

Enrollment can be reported by either the client or Partnership provider when there is no change in provider. No additional verification is required when the provider is already authorized for the child.

When the child is changing providers, the change must be verified by the client before authorizing care. If the provider change is reported by the provider prior to the client report, eligibility workers will attempt to contact the client by phone to confirm the change. If unable to reach the client by phone, the worker will mail an Information Request letter and ask the client to report the provider change. Care will not be authorized until the client reports the provider change.

10-day notice

When the child is not changing providers and is enrolling in a Partnership slot with the same provider, 10-day advance notice is not required when closing the WCCC authorization. 

Example: A 2-year-old child is authorized 9 full day units at KinderCare, provider #123456. On January 7 the provider calls to report that the child is enrolled in an EHS Partnership slot as of January 1. Because the child is not changing providers, but only changing to the EHS Partnership program, 10-day advance notice is not required. The Department will close the 9 full day unit authorization effective December 31 and open 23 full days using the Partnership service code effective January 1 through the end of the current eligibility period.

When the child is changing providers and enrolling in a Partnership slot, 10-day advance notice must be given to the provider when closing the WCCC authorization.

Example: On February 1 a parent reports that her 3-year-old will be changing providers and enrolling in the Partnership on February 5 at a licensed family home. Her other children will be staying with their current provider. The client wants to pay her copayment to the Partnership provider. The Department will close the child’s authorization and copayment line with the current provider effective February 11 and open 23 full days using the Partnership service code effective February 5. The client will begin paying her copayment to the Partnership provider on March 1.

What rates are Partnership providers paid?

Click here for the Partnership rates.