Job Search and Continuity of Care

Lead Agencies have the option, but are not required, to discontinue assistance during the minimum 12-month eligibility period due to a parent's non-temporary loss of work or cessation of attendance at a job training or educational program, otherwise known as a parent's eligible activity; for example, if a parent loses employment. However, if the Lead Agency chooses this option, it must allow continued child care assistance for a reasonable period (not less than 3 months). This way, the parent can continue to receive assistance while looking for a new job or resuming training or education. Otherwise, the Lead Agency may not terminate assistance based on the non-temporary change in work or activities before the end of the minimum 12-month redetermination period.

Extending eligibility beyond the 3 month job search period facilitates a longer job search, making it easier for parents to apply for jobs and ensure that they have child care in place during the search for, and when, they find employment. This continued assistance for at least 3 months supports children’s development by maintaining continuity in their early learning setting. In supporting the two-generational approach, it also reduces the stress on families, facilitating a smoother transition back into the workforce. [1]


[1] Office of Child Care. (2016). Child Care and Development Fund final rule frequently asked questions. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.