Working Connections Child Care. The Working Connections Child Care (WCCC) program is a federally and state-funded program that provides child care subsidies to families, and is administered by the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF). Families may be eligible for child care subsidies if they have a household income at or below 60 percent of the state median income (SMI), and have one or more children younger than 13 or younger than 19 with a verified special need or are under court supervision. As of October 1, 2022, 60 percent of the state median income is $4,274 maximum monthly income for a family of three.
The state pays part of the cost of child care when a parent is employed, self-employed, or in approved work or education activities and meets other eligibility requirements. The family is responsible for making a copayment to the child care provider based on the family's countable income, which are established in state law.
In 2021, WCCC eligibility was expanded by phasing in higher income thresholds and lower copayments.
Authorizations for WCCC subsidies are effective for 12 months.
Registered Apprenticeships. An apprenticeship combines on-the-job training with related classroom instruction under the supervision of a journey-level professional. After completing a registered apprenticeship program, apprentices receive a professional credential that is recognized nationwide.
An applicant or consumer is eligible to receive WCCC benefits for the care of one or more eligible children for the first 12 months of the applicant or consumer's enrollment in a state registered apprenticeship program regardless of other eligibility requirements when the applicant or consumer has a household income that does not exceed 85 percent of SMI.
DCYF must adopt a copayment model for household incomes above 60 percent, and at, or below 85 percent of SMI, which must align with any copayment identified or adopted in current law.
The committee recommended a different version of the bill than what was heard. PRO: Apprenticeship programs allow people to earn while they learn. It can be difficult to afford child care while people are in these programs. Apprenticeships can help diversify the workforce, and access to affordable, safe, and reliable child care is one way to help. Child care is needed to build a robust workforce.