Frequently Asked Questions
How long will it take to process my completed AmeriCorps Child Care Benefits Application?
Upon submission of your completed application to GAP Solutions, Inc., you will receive confirmation within 5 business days about the status of your application (incomplete or in review); if you have submitted an incomplete application, you will be notified at that time about what steps or documentation remain outstanding to process your application. All applications will be verified for eligibility and awarded or denied within 10 days from the date the application was marked completed.
What will delay my application from being approved in a timely manner?
Missing documentation, lack of response from the member and/or provider, and illegible documents are common challenges in application processing. To ensure there are no delays in processing your application, please make sure that the documents you are uploading, faxing or scanning are legible and clearly. You may refer to the AmeriCorps Child Care Program website at: http://www.americorpschildcare.com/ for a detailed list of required forms and supporting documentation. An assigned Child Care Coordinator will send e-mail communication to you with information on documentation needed as well as questions about illegible documents. If your application package is incomplete or illegible, your application will be pending review for a period of up to 30 days; incomplete applications will be denied after the 30 days with the option to appeal.
How can I find out more about State Benefit Limits and why is it so difficult to figure out my own eligibility?
Each of the 50 states and 5 territories establishes their own regulations for implementing the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 1990 and each state and territory can change these requirements at any time. Some states publish information on public websites however the information is often lengthy and unclear. GAP Solutions, Inc. has information on the eligibility requirements for each state and is your resource for determining your eligibility and rates; please contact GAP Solutions, Inc. for assistance in the application process and with questions about eligibility. Please note that each state has unique requirements for eligibility. For your convenience GAP Solutions has provided a link to the CCDF Plans as an additional resource. Click here to view the list of Individual and State and Territory CCDF Plans. Click here to view the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services CCDF State and Territory Contacts.
Can I use a family member for child care?
* For the NCCC program only, the guardian or family member with whom the child is living should also 1) be the child care provider or 2) serve as the responsible party in selecting an outside child care provider; the identified child care provider however may not be the child's biological, step, or adoptive parent. For more information, please review the section on Child Care Provider Types.
The biological parent of the child needing the childcare benefit cannot be used as a child care provider. Depending on the state in which the care is provided; other blood relatives may be used. Some states allow a relative to serve as an approved provider and some states do not. Please note: regardless of state, providers may not live in the same household as the member and child. All childcare providers must be at least 18 years of age to be eligible to participate in the AmeriCorps Child Care program. Please call 1-855-886-0687 about your options for child care.
Do I have the option of in-home care?
Contact GAP Solutions to find out if your State CCDF Plan grants you the option of in-home care.
I have a child with special needs that needs full time care while I am serving for AmeriCorps; am I eligible for the benefit?
The age limit for children is under 13 years old however; if you have a child with special needs you may still be eligible. Please contact Gap Solutions to discuss your child's individual case.
May I select a provider of my choice?
The AmeriCorps Child Care Program strongly supports freedom in choosing a childcare provider that offers a stable and safe childcare environment where your child(ren) can best thrive. To find out if your childcare provider is eligible to participate in the AmeriCorps Childcare Program, please contact our helpline at 1-855-866-0687. Our Childcare Coordinators will assist you in understanding the specific child care provider eligibility requirements in your state and address any questions you may have. Only the types of providers listed as eligible to participate per your State's CCDF plan may participate and be paid through the AmeriCorps Child Care Benefit program. To learn about your provider choices, check out the Child Care Provider State Guide!
How do I select a qualified Child Care Provider?
A qualified child care provider is one that meets your state's licensing and regulatory requirements in order to receive federally subsidized child care funds. Click here to read about different types of child care providers. Please remember however that the requirements for the types of eligible child care providers depends on the CCDF state requirements in which the care is being provided; some states require that child care providers meet particular licensing, certification and training requirements. GAP Solutions, Inc. will be your resource for ensuring that your child care provider meets state requirements.
Please note: child care providers can only participate in the AmeriCorps Child Care Benefits Program and be reimbursed for services starting from the moment that they complete all state-required certifications, registrations, and trainings.
How many child care providers can I use if I am approved for the benefit?
Members may have multiple child care providers and additionally, child care providers may change at any time. ALL child care providers must however be approved through the application process before reimbursement for the member's child care needs is considered and processed.
Parents are strongly encouraged to consider a back-up child care arrangement in the event that a primary child care provider is unable to provide care when it is required. For example, some child care centers might close on days other than Federal Holidays; members should submit to GAP Solutions a copy of the child care center's schedule in the event that it is needed to reimburse a back-up child care provider.
My state allows for the use of an unlicensed provider; but my provider was still denied, why?
Two possible reasons why you and your provider may have received a denial for the AmeriCorps Child Care Benefits are;
- Your provider lives with you; or
- Your provider couldn't verify their place of residence. (In order for an unlicensed provider to participate in the program, the provider must be able to confirm their place of residence). Your provider can do this by presenting any of the following documents: a copy of their current lease in their name; copy of utility bill in their name; State issued ID that matches current address. If the childcare provider is not able to verify their place of residence, they will not be eligible to participate to receive benefit payments.
- Your provider may not have the background check, training and or certification requirements to be eligible per your State CCDF requirements.
Should you receive a denial due to the use of an unlicensed provider, please contact GAP Solutions at 1-855-886-0687 and our Child Care coordinators will be happy to discuss your specific case with you.
I received a denial for the benefit, what are my next steps to appeal the decision?
You may directly appeal a denial in writing to the AmeriCorps Child Care Benefit Administrator; appeals must be received within 15 business days of receipt of the denial notification for consideration. In your appeal, you should state and support (with documentation) your claim as to why you meet the eligibility requirements for receipt of the benefit, specifically addressing the ineligibility factors as outlined in your denial. Appeals may be submitted by email, fax, or mail to:
AmeriCorps Childcare Program
Attn: Yamileth Hernandez, Program Director, GAP Solutions, Inc.
205 Van Buren St.
Herndon, VA 20170
Within 10 business days of the receipt of the appeal, GAP Solutions will notify the AmeriCorps Member about the appeal decision.
My spouse or another adult in my household is unemployed but looking for work; am I eligible for the benefit?
You may be eligible for a short-term child care benefit for a period of job search. Please contact GAP Solutions, Inc. for assistance in the application process and with questions about eligibility.
My spouse or another adult in my household is employed part-time; am I eligible for the benefit?
You may qualify to receive only Part Time Rates if your spouse (or any other adults in your household) is at work part time.
My spouse or another adult in my household is self-employed and does not have a standard salary check to verify income; what documents are acceptable to provide to demonstrate self-employment?
If one of your household members is self-employed, the following documentation will be required:
- Statement of Work Activity Form
- Quarterly Profit and Loss Statements (applies to business owners)
- Copy of most recent 1040 TAX Return (including all schedules)
What if the Monthly Child Care Benefit is Less Than the Provider's Monthly Charges?
YOU, the AmeriCorps member, are responsible for paying all child care charges in excess of the child care subsidy benefit amount. The child care benefit cannot exceed the prevailing rate established by the state or territory where the child care services are provided.
I am a VISTA that attended PSO and put my child in child care; can I get reimbursed?
If your application is approved you may submit an attendance sheet for invoicing. Please ensure that we have proof of your PSO attendance to prevent any payment delays.
Will I be reimbursed for weekend service-related work?
GAP Solutions will reimburse for weekend service-related work upon receiving confirmation of your work hours from your AmeriCorps site supervisor.
Am I eligible for child care benefits while under suspension (for AmeriCorps State and National Members only)?
No. Members are not eligible for benefits while they are under suspension. However, if you are an AmeriCorps State and National Member and were placed in a temporary suspended status and you meet all of the below requirements, you may be eligible to receive up to 12 consecutive weeks of continued benefits:
To ensure no lapse in coverage, the AmeriCorps State and National grantee must notify GAP Solutions in writing within five business days after a member's status changes. Costs incurred due to the grantee's failure to keep GAP Solutions immediately informed of changes in a member's status may be charged to the grantee's organization.
- The Member cannot not be suspended for cause and/or other disciplinary actions (for example, the member was given a temporary suspension under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA);
- The Member must intend to return to service;
- Member must certify he/she needs the continued benefit in order to be able to return to service.
Can I resubmit an attendance sheet invoice to correct the hours or days my child(ren) were in care?
Both you and your child care provider will be held responsible for ensuring that the hours entered on each Attendance Sheet are true and accurate. If you have a request to add or remove hours to a previously submitted attendance sheet, you must submit a perjury statement signed by both member and provider as to why the attendance sheet should be modified.
Do you offer Direct Deposit payments?
GAP Solutions is pleased to be offering ACH Electronic Payments to AmeriCorps Child Care Providers. This service allows Gap Solutions to automatically deposit your checks on a monthly basis for your child care service.
How you benefit:
To enroll in ACH Electronic Payments, please complete Payment Authorization form or contact GAP Solutions for more information. All forms are found at http://www.americorpschildcare.com/ under forms.
- Convenience: Your money is automatically deposited into your checking or savings account, even when you are too busy to get to bank.
- Availability: Payments are usually authorized within 1-3 days of deposit.
- Safety: Never worry about checks getting lost, delayed, or stolen.
How does my provider receive the child care benefits each month?
Child care providers are paid in accordance with the member's approved award rate and after completed documentation has been submitted to GAP Solutions, Inc. demonstrating the child care services needed and delivered for the previous month; please note, providers are not pre-paid for child care services. The member or the child care provider must submit a completed AmeriCorps Child Care Program Monthly Attendance Sheet (invoice) after the last day that the child care has been provided for that month; the Monthly Attendance Sheet Invoice is available at: http://www.americorpschildcare.com/Forms.aspx. The member and the child care provider must sign and certify each monthly Attendance Sheet confirming the following before processing:
- The child's attendance for each day, each week, and each month.
- The total charges for child care services rendered during each week and the total for the month.
- The child care provider is an eligible provider in accordance with the CCDF Block Grant program guidelines for the state or territory where the child care services were provided.
In addition, the member must sign and certify the following:
- The member is still an active participant in the AmeriCorps Program, and
- Nothing has changed in regards to their total household income or household size that will impact their eligibility in accordance with the CCDF Block Grant program guidelines for the state or territory where the child care services were provided.
How long will it take to process my provider's Attendance Sheet (invoice)?
On average it takes about 10 days for Attendance Sheets (invoices) to be processed; during high volume times (August to December), it may take up to 30 days.
What will delay my providers invoice from being paid in a timely manner?
There are three common causes for delay.
- Having an incomplete Childcare Benefit Application. Once your Child Care provider is approved, your Attendance Sheet Invoices will be processed for payment. We highly encourage child care providers to fill out forms electronically, to ensure the information is legible. Failure to submit a complete, accurate and legible Attendance Sheet Invoice. The attendance sheet forms will NOT be processed if incomplete.
- Attendance Sheet Invoices include weekend charges and are not accompanied by verification from the AmeriCorps Member supervisor that the member was performing service on the weekend.
- Attendance Sheet Invoices are completed and submitted too early (before the month is done) and are unable to be processed; many rates have monthly rates and/or require a full month's completion before they can be processed. The AmeriCorps Member and the Childcare Provider should both sign and date the form on the last day of care for the month and then submit (invoices should not be signed and submitted prior to the completion of the month).
My application was approved but my provider has not been paid; what can I do?
First, ask your child care provider if they have done the following:
Second, contact GAP Solutions, Inc. for assistance.
- Submitted signed W-9 and other documents as requested by GAP Solutions?
- Submitted a complete monthly Attendance Sheet Invoice showing all charges for each month of care?
Does the AmeriCorps Child Care Benefit pay for Child Care Registration, Late, Early Withdrawal and Other Child Care Fees?
No. The AmeriCorps Child Care Benefit does NOT reimburse or cover costs associated with registration fees, late fees, transportation, snacks, or any other miscellaneous fees; these fees are a responsibility of the AmeriCorps Member.
My provider is unsure, confused, or has questions about the application process; how can I help my provider?
Ensure your provider has an understanding of the AmeriCorps Child Care Benefits Program, eligibility requirements, and payment procedures. It is important that providers understand their responsibilities in the application process and the ongoing requirements for benefits payment. Encourage your provider to call Gap Solutions if they have any concerns.
My provider is requiring that I pay child care up front; what can I do?
Providers are not pre-paid for child care services; rather, they are paid after completed documentation has been submitted to GAP Solutions, Inc. demonstrating the child care services needed and delivered for the previous month. It is recommended that members have a clear understanding and are in agreement with what requirements their child care provider may have of them for payment before having the provider come on as an "approved provider" with the AmeriCorps Child Care Benefits Program. Remember, you as the member are responsible for paying all child care charges in excess of the child care benefit amount awarded.
My provider will not reimburse me for money that I paid up front? Can you reimburse me?
No. The AmeriCorps Child Care Benefit only pays benefits to approved child care providers on behalf of the serving member. We highly encourage parents to discuss payment arrangements with their providers if they are paying up front and to be sure to understand what the child care provider's policy is regarding reimbursement back to the members once the benefit payments begin. It is important not to assume that your child care provider's policy allows for reimbursement back to you.
I don't understand my award. What do these rates mean?
Your state's CCDF Plan outlines the rates associated with each type of provider. The amount of the rate per child is dependent on where your provider lives and the provider type (licensed, regulated, informal).
A child not enrolled in school is granted both Part-time and Full-time rates. GAP Solutions uses the rate that best fits the attendance of the child when issuing awards and reimbursing child care providers.
School age children are granted ONLY Part-time rates while in school. Full-time rates may apply to children registered in half day kindergarten upon confirmation of school schedule.
All other school age children will have a Full-time Rate ONLY to be used for Holidays and School Breaks. GAP Solutions, Inc. encourages parents to submit each child's school calendar to support any school breaks.
I am beginning another term of service with AmeriCorps, do I have to reapply?
Yes. Members starting another term of service with AmeriCorps are required to reapply; however, there may be instances where some supporting documentation from your previous application is still adequate. Please contact GAP Solutions, Inc. to find out which documents you are required to resubmit along with your new application. Please note that current income documentation and taxes must be submitted for every new term of service.
Who can I Contact to ask Additional Questions about the AmeriCorps Child Care Program?
You may contact GAP Solutions, Inc. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays, from 8:00 AM to 6:00PM EST to ask questions about the AmeriCorps Child Care Program in general or inquire about your child care benefits. GAP Solutions, Inc. may be contact via email at: AmericorpsChildCare@gapsi.com or toll-free telephone number at 855-886-0687.
List of Individual State/Territory CCDF Plans (PDF)
Child Care Fact Sheet & FAQs (PDF)
1State Benefit Limits - Child care subsidy benefits may not exceed applicable payment rates as established by the state in which the child care is provided under the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 9858c(4)(A)). The maximum child care subsidy provided by the Corporation for an AmeriCorps VISTA or NCCC member is up to $400 per child. When determining rates, states consider such factors as the number of hours a day a child is in care, age of child, provider licensing, etc.