Rhode Island Department of Human Services
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Child Care Assistance

The Department of Human Services can help eligible working families pay for child care. You do not have to participate in the RI Works Program to qualify for child care assistance.


For parents that participate in the Rhode Island Works Program, there is no income limit for child care because if a family is eligible for RI Works, they already meet the income requirements for the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP).      

For families not participating in the RI Works Program, eligibility for child care assistance is based on working at least 20 hours per week at or above Rhode Island's  minimum wage.  Child Care Assistance is only available to families with earnings up to 180% of the federal poverty level and only available to cover hours of employment.  Families may be required to pay a co-payment based on their family size, income level, and number of children. See Family Income and Co-Payment Guidelines for the Child Care Assistance Program.  

Choosing a Child Care Provider

Parents can choose their child care provider and if necessary may use more than one provider to meet their child care needs so long as their hours do not overlap. Options for child care include:

  • a licensed child care center, summer camp, or before/after-school program; 
  • a licensed family child care home; 
  • a non-licensed provider that has received approval from DHS to participate in CCAP

How to Apply

The Department has up to 30 days to make a decision on your application.  DHS can not cover the cost of care you use if your application is ultimately denied.  To get a decision as soon as possible, submit all required documents with your application.  If anything is missing, it will slow down the decision on your application.  You can help the Department help you by reading the instructions and completing the application carefully.  Thank you.

For More Information

For more information or an application for the DHS Child Care Assistance Program, please call the DHS Info Line at (401) 462-5300.

For more information on becoming a CCAP Approved Provider, please call the Office of Child Care at (401) 462-6877.

For information on choosing quality care for your child, or for a list of licensed childcare providers near your home or work, please call Rhode Island Child Care Resource & Referral Center toll free at 1-855-398-7605 or go to BrightStars.org.