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Family Connections Montana

Accepting Child Care Scholarship Families

Families that are eligible to receive a child care scholarship to help pay for child care are required to use a licensed or registered child care provider. As such, licensed or registered child care providers are eligible to receive child care payments from DPHHS for any scholarship families in their care.

Check out many of the frequently asked questions providers have about working with scholarship families.

Q: How do I know when a family is approved for a Best Beginnings Child Care Scholarship?

A: Family Connections will send a copy of the family’s child care authorization plan to you when the family has been approved to receive a Best Beginnings Child Care Scholarship.  The authorization plan states the number of hours approved for care daily or weekly, the approved start and end date of care, the children authorized for care, and the co-payment amount. Please note that the start date is when the ECSB will start paying for child care costs and the end date is the last date the ECSB will pay for child care costs. The ECSB will not back pay for time the family failed to re-certify the scholarship. You will receive a new child care authorization plan if there are changes. Contact Family Connections with any questions.

Q: What do scholarship families pay me as the provider?

A: Scholarship families are responsible to pay the co-payment on the authorization plan to you.  These co-payments are determined based upon a sliding fee scale depending on family size and gross monthly income.  Families must pay you the required co-payment and any other fees or charges that may exceed the region’s reimbursement rates or for hours not approved on the authorization plan.

Q: How am I paid for the services I provide for scholarship families?

A: A preprinted invoice is mailed to you each month.  You receive one invoice for every eligible family in your care.  The invoice lists the family’s children for whom care will be paid, the certification end date, and the amount of the family’s co-payment.  The hours billed on the invoice must reflect the child’s actual attendance rounded to the nearest ¼ hour as it relates to approved activities. You must enter the daily attendance hours for each child and if the co-payment was received.  The invoice must be completed, signed, and dated.

You must mail or deliver completed invoices to Family Connections.  Invoices are due to Family Connections within 5 days following the month in which care was provided in order to be processed in the first payment cycle.  Invoices expire 60 days after the month of service.  If there is a problem with your payment, please contact Family Connections before 60 days after the month in question or it loses eligibility for Best Beginning Scholarship payment.

You may charge the State based on a daily rate, which is for 6-10 hours per day, or an hourly rate that is less than 6 hours per day.  There are separate rates for children below the age of two (infant rate) and for children above the age of two (child rate). The State reimburses providers serving families who are determined eligible for a Best Beginnings Scholarship.

Q: What if the child has special needs?

A: If you have a child with a special need in your child care facility, you will need to have the parents contact their case worker at Family Connections to determine if they qualify for a Special Needs Assessment.