Day Care Eligibility Guidelines & Payment Procedures

The charts below indicate income standards used to determine eligibility and how fees for Non-Temporary [Public] Assistance Day Care Services are calculated.

NOTE: Families with a Gross income that exceeds 200% of the State Income Standard are not eligible for assistance.

200% of Poverty Guideline Chart

June 1, 2020 through May 31, 2021

Family SizeIncome Standards 
1  $25,520  
2                   $34,480  
3                   $43,440  
4                   $52,400  
5                   $61,360  
6                   $70,320  
7                   $79,280  



For families/households with more than 8 persons, add $8,840 for each additional family member, under the 200-percent threshold of FPL.

*As part of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, Erie County Child Chare Subsidy Program will expand eligibility standards to serve families with incomes up to 85 percent of the State Median Income (SMI). The Workforce Development Institute's (WDI) Child Care Facilitated Enrollment Program will accept new applications in the range of 201% of FPL up to 85% of SMI. To view this adjusted Federal and NYS Eligibility Level chart, Click Here. *

How much will it cost?

Day Care fees are based on the amount of family income that exceeds the current Income Eligibility Standard [100%] and calculated as follows:

Formula For Determining Day Care Fees:

Annual Gross Income - State Income Standard x 35% = Weekly Fee
              ÷ 52 [weeks]

Every day care case will pay a fee of at least $1.00 per week.

Please Note: there is one basic fee for a family regardless of the number of children receiving day care services. The day care fee is deducted from the youngest child receiving care and the parent must pay the fee directly to the provider. Temporary Assistance Cases do not pay a fee.

Market Rates:

The New York State Office of Children and Family Services establishes rates based on the county where care is provided, type of provider, and the age of the child.

The Child Care Market Rate is used to determine the maximum amount that ECDSS may authorize for the cost of child day care. The actual cost of care is the actual rate charged by the provider to the general public.

The amount authorized by ECDSS will be for the actual cost of care, up to the Market Rate.

Payment Procedures:

The method of payment depends upon the case type involved, Temporary [Public] Assistance or Child Care Services.

The only payments made to providers are for actual services rendered and previously authorized by the Erie County Department of Social Services, per NYCRR415.

Temporary [Public] Assistance Case Approval and Payment Procedure

  • Client gives their day care provider a Child Care Payment Questionnaire Form [B-3923].
  • Provider completes this form and returns it to the client. Provider should note the Caseworker/Examiner's name and phone number for ready reference.
  • Parent must sign Temporary Assistance parent agreement form [B-4657-TA].
  • Client returns B-4657-TA along with B-3923 to their worker who determines eligibility and amount of day care approved.
  • If applicable, client and legally-exempt provider complete enrollment form for provider of legally-exempt family child care and legally exempt in-home child care (OCFS-LDSS-4699). Upon completion, form should be mailed to: Child Care Resource Network
    1000 Hertel Avenue
    Buffalo, New York 14216
  • When day care is approved, an 'Employment-related Child Day Care Approval Form' [B-4883] is sent to the provider. This approval letter identifies the children and coverage dates.
  • A voucher is sent to each provider listing all children who are receiving day care assistance from Erie County. The provider must complete the voucher and return it to the ECDSS Accounting - Voucher Audit Division.
  • When day care assistance is discontinued for a case or individual child, a 'Termination of Employment-related Child Care Assistance' [B-4843] letter is sent to the provider.

Child Care Services [Non-Temporary Assistance] Case Payment Procedure -

  • All clients approved for child day care benefits will be given two copies of an approval letter, Form ECDSS-4976-AF
  • Client gives one copy of this letter to their provider.
  • Upon receipt of the approval letter, provider initiates child day care services. The approval letter guarantees Erie County Social Services will pay for the services outlined in the letter for the period of coverage specified.
  • A parent fee is included on the ECDSS-4976-AF and clients must pay this fee directly to the provider. Erie County will pay an amount equaling the provider's rate [not exceeding the Current Market Rate] minus the parent fee.
  • A voucher is sent to each provider listing all children who are receiving day care assistance from Erie County. The provider must complete the voucher and return it to the ECDSS Accounting - Voucher Audit Division