Homeless Grace Period

Created on: 
Jun 08 2017

Table of Contents

Related WACs

DCYF Clarifying Information (published February 1, 2017)


Additional Information

What is the Homeless Grace Period?

Families experiencing homelessness who are not otherwise eligible for the Working Connections Child Care program may be eligible to receive special child care assistance through what is called the Homeless Grace Period. The Homeless Grace Period will provide four months of child care benefits with a licensed provider and $0 copayment to help families while they are resolving issues surrounding homelessness, such as locating housing, obtaining or verifying employment, or resolving outstanding copayments with previous providers.

How do clients apply for the Homeless Grace Period?

Clients may apply by calling 1-877-501-2233 Monday through Friday. Clients may also apply online at Washington Connection (Your Link to Services), or mail an application to CSD—Customer Service Center, PO Box 11699, Tacoma, WA 98411-9905.

Eligibility requirements for the Homeless Grace Period:

  • Clients must be experiencing homelessness.
  • Clients must not have been in the Homeless Grace Period in the 12 months prior to application.
  • Clients must meet all eligibility requirements under WAC 110-15-0005 and 110-15-0030 except for one or more of the following:
    • Participating in an approved activity under WAC 110-15-0040, 110-15-0045, 110-15-0050, or in a 14 day wait period to enter an approved activity under WAC 110-15-0055.
    • Required to provide verification of income and/or employment and unable to do so within 30 days of the date of application or reapplication.
    • Have no outstanding copayment, or no written payment plan to pay an outstanding copayment.

How will homelessness be verified?

Clients must be homeless as defined by the McKinney-Vento Act. The McKinney-Vento Act defines “homeless children” as individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.

  • Fixed – Stationary, permanent, and not subject to change.
  • Regular – Used on a predictable, routine, or consistent basis.
  • Adequate – Sufficient for meeting needs typically met in home environments (operable plumbing, working kitchen, working safe electrical, not condemned, meets building code).

Families will be considered homeless if they are in one or more of the following situations:

  • Living in motel.
  • Living in a shelter.
  • Living in transitional housing.
  • Moving from place to place.
  • Living in a car, park, camp, public space, abandoned building, substandard housing.
  • Living with more than one family in a house or apartment (doubling up).

Homelessness must be verified within 30 days of the date of application.

  • If the client has reported homelessness within the last 12 months and it is documented in ACES or eJAS, no further verification is required.
  • If ACES or eJAS does not indicate homelessness, the client will need to provide a verbal or written statement from a third party outside of the client’s household who knows the family housing status.

Homeless Grace Period Policies

  • Full-time childcare will be authorized to licensed providers for Homeless Grace Period families regardless of parent activity. Family, Friends and Neighbors providers cannot be used during the Homeless Grace Period. The copayment is based on the income of the family at the time of application.  It is waived during the Homeless Grace Period, the first four months of the client’s eligibility period.
  • Clients are required to provide verification of their participation in an approved activity, income verification, and verification of any copayment resolution by the end of the four month Homeless Grace Period. Clients who have not provided verification that the waived eligibility criteria has been satisfied by the end of the Homeless Grace Period will have their child care subsidy benefits terminated at that time.
  • Clients will maintain their eligibility for the Homeless Grace Period through the end of the fourth month even if their homelessness is resolved before then. This means they must continue to use a licensed provider and will continue to have their copayment waived through the end of the four month Homeless Grace Period.
  • Clients in the Homeless Grace Period still must report changes as established in WAC 110-15-0031.
  • Families who have verified homelessness and have been approved for Working Connections Child Care will be converted to the Homeless Grace Period at the point they would lose eligibility when either the 14-day wait or the 60-day new employment self-attestation periods end.
  • The period during which the copayment is waived will begin the first of the month following the last day of the 14-day wait or 60 day self-attestation periods, and will end on the last day of the fourth month of eligibility.