Dorchester County Dept. of Social Services

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Frequently Asked Questions:

Purchase of Care

The Purchase of Care program has been administered by this Department for many years. One of the reasons for this program's growth is the department’s ability to assist families who are not receiving financial assistance (TCA). Working families can now receive assistance with childcare costs. Families must meet income guidelines, and based on their income, pay a portion of the cost of care to the provider; the State makes up the difference. Another reason for growth in the program has been welfare reform activities. Families receiving TCA are required to participate in employment search activities. Effectively assisting families with childcare has been one of the reasons for Dorchester County’s successful program.

1. Am I eligible for POC? (request for telephone screening)
POC is based on income and family size. In order to determine eligibility, you must submit an application.
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2. How much money will I get?
The amount of the POC subsidy you receive is based on several factors: your income, the number and ages of your children, the number of hours of care, and the type of care you choose. The amount of your subsidy is clearly stated on the voucher.
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3. How much money will my provider get?
The amount of the POC subsidy paid to your provider is based on several factors: the rate your provider normally charges for care, the type of care (formal vs. informal, center vs. home care), and the amount of your subsidy. The amount your provider will receive is clearly stated on the voucher.
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4. What verifications do I need to get vouchers?
  • Proof of income from all sources for the past 30 days. This includes pay stubs, child support, Social Security benefits.
  • Proof that you are pursuing child support if both parents do not live in the household.
  • Confirmation of your work schedule.
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5. Do you have a list of providers who accept vouchers?
No, we cannot recommend a provider. However, you can call DCDSS at 410-901-4100 for a list of licensed child care providers in your area.
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6. When will I get paid?
Providers get paid the month after they care for the child. Providers can submit the completed voucher at any time. Invoices are submitted after the last day of the service period. Checks are usually generated every two weeks.
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7. Can you mail me an application?
Yes. Please call Ruthie Robbins at 410-901-4108 to have an application mailed to you.
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8. Can I fax my application back to you?
No, we cannot accept faxed applications. However, you can return your application by mail or drop it off at our offices between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
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9. How do I change providers?
Providers must be given 5 working day’s notice that you intend to change providers. Please call the office at least 5 days in advance so we can send the notice to your provider. We will then expire your current vouchers effective the last day you will be taking your child to that provider. We will issue new vouchers you can take to the new provider.
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10. What are “non-traditional” hours?
Non-traditional hours are from 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. and Saturdays and Sundays.
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Copyright © 2016 Dorchester County Department of Social Services.
The Department of Social Services is a local agency of the
Maryland Department of Human Resources
Lawrence J. Hogan, Jr., Governor | Boyd K. Rutherford, Lt. Governor | Lourdes R. Padilla, Secretary

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