Special Circumstances

Created on: 
Feb 01 2016

Table of Contents

Related WACs

Working Connections Child Care

Seasonal Child Care

DEL Clarifying Information (published February 1, 2017)

WAC 170-290-0020

Employer-Provided Child Care Benefits

A consumer, who receives child care at no cost as a benefit of his or her employment, is not eligible for WCCC benefits.

Court-Ordered Substance Abuse or Mental Health Treatment.

When a parent in a two-parent family is court-ordered to attend substance abuse or mental health treatment, that parent is not considered able or available to care for the children during treatment participation.

Consumer Residence and FFN Providers

The consumer can live with the FFN provider who cares for their child as long as the approved activities are outside the provider’s home at the time of application or reapplication.

Two Parent Family

In a two parent household, when one parent is unable or unavailable to work due to verified medical reasons, their activity is not considered when requesting care to be done in the child’s home with a FFN provider.

Child’s Visitation

If a consumer currently receives WCCC for children residing in the household and another child joins the household for visitation and needs child care, that child is authorized under the consumer’s current benefits with no changes to the consumer’s family size, income or copayment.

WAC 170-290-0205

If the consumer is employed by the licensed family home, WCCC will not pay for the consumer’s child to be in care with that provider during those hours the consumer is working in the licensed family home.

Additional Information

What are some special circumstances that could affect Child Care subsidy eligibility or authorization?

When applying for child care subsidy, or reporting a change in circumstances, there are certain instances where a client may or may not be eligible for care, or may need to choose a different child care provider. 

  • Potentially eligible:
    • A person who works in a licensed child care center where his or her children attend, but does not work in the same room as his or her own children during the time child care subsidy is requested.
      • Note: If a parent and child are in the same room together, the parent is not eligible for child care subsidy coverage for this time, even if the parent is not directly caring for the children.
    • A sanctioned WorkFirst parent who is in an activity working to cure the sanction or reopen their case. Click here for more information about WorkFirst and WorkFirst sanction.
    • A married non-needy relative; only one of the spouses need be in an approved activity, unless both are named on a permanent custody order.
    • A parent in a two-parent household where one parent is not able and available to provide care while the other is in an approved activity.
      • A parent in a two-parent household who is court-ordered to attend substance abuse or mental health treatment is not considered able or available to care for the children during treatment participation.
  • Clients who are otherwise eligible for subsidy will need to use a different provider in these situations:
    • Child care will not be authorized to a provider for a child whose parent works in that providers licensed family home. 
    • Child care will not be authorized when a child receives child care in the same place the client works, such as their home, another location, or a licensed family child care home during the client's hours of employment. 
      • Note: If a client is self-employed, they are only eligible for child care subsidy for activities completed outside of the home.

What are some special circumstances that could affect Seasonal Child Care eligibility?

  • A two-parent household where one parent is not able or available to provide care while the other parent is working in seasonally agricultural work.

What if a spouse or partner is unable to work or provide care for the children?

In a two-parent family, if one of the parents claims they aren’t able to work or provide care for the children, the Department must determine if parent is physically or mentally capable of caring for a child in a responsible manner. We will request written documentation from an acceptable medical source as defined in WAC 388-449-0010.  The documentation must include:

  1. Reason the parent is unable to care for the children;
  2. Expected duration and severity of the condition that keeps them from caring for the children; and
  3. Treatment plan, including verification that he or she is cooperating with treatment. (Note: Seasonal Child Care does not need the treatment plan.)

If this is verified, only the schedule from the parent who is participating in an approved activity is considered when determining how much care to authorize.

If a two-parent household requests a Family/Friend/Neighbor provider and one of the parents are unable to care for the children due to being disabled, we must complete and submit an Exception to the Rule (ETR).  We cannot authorize care without an approved ETR from the Department of Early Learning.

In a single-parent family, the household would not be eligible.

What is needed if a client is acting in loco parentis or as a non-needy relative?

See “What is needed if a client is acting in loco parentis or as a non-needy relative?”