Attending an educational program
This section shows how to gather and verify education and job training information from the applicant.
Defining education and job training
Activities that qualify as education and job training are not defined in federal law. Instead, Lead Agencies must define what activities are included. OCC recommends including a broad range of activities in your definition of education and job training. Situations where a parent may not be available to care for their child, should be considered. Make sure to clearly state what activities should be considered as education and job training in your application.
Examples of education and job training that Lead Agencies currently include:
- Any structured learning environment in which a teacher leads students through a course of study, either in-person or online
- Middle school or equivalent
- High school or equivalent
- GED program
- Adult education programs
- Post-secondary education, including community college, junior college, or university
- Vocational training
- ESL (English as a second language) program
- Trade school
- SNAP Employment and Training Program (SNAP E&T)
- TANF Employment and Training Program
- Employment training programs that focus upon the acquisition of knowledge and skills, such as truck driver training programs, attending a police academy, EMT and nurse training programs, or apprenticeships
What information should I capture?
OCC recommends that Lead Agencies only capture whether the applicant is enrolled in an education or job training program, and the name of the program.
CCDF federal rules do not require that applicants attend an educational program or job training for a minimum number of hours or credits, maintain a minimum GPA, or participate only in programs where completion will lead to a certain degree level for eligibility purposes.
However, if a Lead Agency chooses to require that applicants attend for a minimum number of hours weekly or monthly, or for a minimum number of credits or credit hours, OCC encourages Lead Agencies to allow applicants to estimate, and to include time spent commuting, studying, for class breaks, and meals.
Verifying education or job training information
OCC recommends that Lead Agencies accept a variety of documentation as verification of education or job training. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Digital or paper copies of a class schedule
- A letter from the training or educational institution
- Receipts of payment to the training or educational institution
- Transcripts or a copy of grades
- A financial aid letter
- Student identification cards
- Any other document that reasonably establishes attendance
Practices that minimize applicant burden
From select Lead Agencies’ FY2022-2024 CCDF Plans
- “Eligibility staff first use information in the electronic case record or systems available to the department. TANF or SNAP E&T families will have case manager notes detailing the activity (job search or education) and the amount of hours of the approved activity. Families attending an education program, not TANF or SNAP E&T, must provide verification of enrollment such as a class schedule or statement from the school.”
- “TANF Job Training or Educational Programs are verified through the Department of Labor’s online data system.”
- “The applicant must provide documentation that verifies their enrollment in a job training or educational program, including verification of an education schedule for some families. Documentation of a Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP)/Diversionary Work Program (DWP)-approved employment plan may be verified from the MFIP employment service counselor. Documentation is required at application and redetermination. Families can sign a written statement to self-verify some training or educational program information if other documentation is not available.”
What's included in the Guide
Defining, collecting, and verifying eligibility information