How to Qualify & Apply

Currently, more South Carolina households than ever are eligible for financial assistance from the South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) to help with the costs of quality child care. The newest financial assistance program is known as COVID-300.

To qualify for COVID-300 financial assistance, parent(s) or guardian(s) must:

  • have a child or children between birth and 12 years of age 
  • work at least 15 hours per week or attend school or a training program 
  • have a gross income below 300% of the federal poverty level; for a family of four this would be up to $83,250 annually

Income parameters for COVID-300 financial assistance

Family Size Monthly (Gross Income) Annual (Gross Income)
1 $0 - $3,398 $0 - $40,770
2 $0 - $4,578 $0 - $54,930
3 $0 - $5,758 $0 - $69,090
4 $0 - $6,938 $0 - $83,250
5 $0 - $8,118 $0 - $97,410
6 $0 - $9,298 $0 - $111,570
7 $0 - $10,478 $0 - $125,730

How to Apply

To apply, please complete the application form and email it to CCDFApplications@dss.sc.gov. In the email, please include your first and last name and the best telephone number to reach you during regular business hours. 

If you have questions about child care financial assistance or whether you meet the eligibility criteria, please email CCDFApplications@dss.sc.gov for assistance.

Apply for COVID-300 financial assistance

 

Additional Financial Assistance Programs 

Funding to offset the cost of child care is also available through other programs such as TANF, homeless, dual language learners, and others. Your level of assistance will be determined by family size and income.

 To qualify, parent(s) or guardian(s) must:

  • have a child or children between birth and 12 years of age 
  • work at least 15 hours per week or attend school or a training program 
  • have a state median income of 55%; for a family of four this would be up to $44,532 annually

Financial assistance for child care is available to support children ages 13 to 18 in certain circumstances: those who have disabilities, developmental delays or who are in foster care.

Family Size Monthly (Gross Income) Annual (Gross Income)
1 $0 - $1,930 $0 - $23,160
2 $0 - $2,524 $0 - $30,288
3 $0 - $3,117 $0 - $37,404
4 $0 - $3,711 $0 - $44,532
5 $0 - $4,305 $0 - $51,660
6 $0 - $4,899 $0 - $58,788

Note: To see full income standards, click here.

To apply for one of these programs, please contact the Child Care Financial Assistance Operations Center at (800) 476-0199.

Program Facts

For Parents

Program facts for parents

  • Financial assistance may cover all or a portion of child care costs. 
  • The amount of financial assistance you are eligible for will be determined by factors including your provider’s tuition rate, their ABC Quality level and your child’s age.
  • If you qualify and are approved, funds will be provided in direct payments to your provider for up to 52 weeks.
  • Payments will only be made to licensed, registered or exempt ABC Quality providers to ensure children experience high-quality child care in a setting that’s suited for their needs. See if your provider is part of ABC Quality. 

If you need help finding available child care, please contact the South Carolina Child Care Resource & Referral Network at 1 (888) 335-1002 or visit www.sc-ccrr.org and submit a referral form indicating your need to find an opening in a child care facility.

For Providers

Program facts for child care providers

  •  Reimbursement for vouchers can be filed online via the Service Voucher Log (SVL), with direct deposit available.
  • A Service Voucher Log (SVL) is used to document the number of hours per day each eligible child attends child care. This ensures children receive the amount of child care that has been authorized.
  • Payment levels may be increased based on the ABC Quality level the provider has achieved.
  • The SVL can be maintained online to expedite the record-keeping and reimbursement process.
  • The Division of Early Care and Education pays providers within 4 to 6 days of receiving online payment documents.
  • For help with questions about the Service Voucher Log (SVL), call 1-800-262-4416.

Contact information 

Child Care Financial Assistance Operations Center
Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Closed on state holidays
Client Number: (800) 476-0199
Provider Number: (800) 262-4416
Complaint Line: (800) 763-2223

Mailing Address:
Child Care Financial Assistance Program
P.O. Box 100160
Columbia, SC 29202-3160