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 3 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. Typically it takes about five business days for complete applications to be processed; during high volume times (August – October), it may take up to twelve business days.
What will delay my application from being approved in a timely manner?
Missing documentation from the member and/or provider are common challenges in application processing; please refer to the AmeriCorps Child Care Program website at: http://www.americorpschildcare.com/ for a detailed list of required forms and supporting documentation. Common delays occur due to a failure to submit a birth certificate for the child, failure to submit proof of household income, and failure of a child care provider to submit a complete application. If your application package is incomplete, 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?
It depends on the state in which the care is provided; some states allow a relative to serve as an approved provider and some states do not. Please note, providers may not live in the same household as the member and child.
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?
If you have a child with special needs you may be eligible. The age limit for a child with special needs covered by the benefit is the age limit set by your state. Please contact Gap Solutions to learn more about the CCDF Plan age limits for your state.
May I choose a provider of my choice?
The AmeriCorps Child Care Program strongly supports freedom of choice in selecting a child care provider. Parents are encouraged to seek a stable child care environment where the child (ren) can best thrive.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 currently does not offer Direct Deposit payment; payments are issued via paper checks. Please allow 8-10 business days for your checks to arrive once payment has been issued.
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 is available at: http://www.americorpschildcare.com/Forms.aspx. The member and the child care provider must sign and certify each monthly Attendance Sheet (invoice) 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 participate in the AmeriCorps Program and that
- 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 invoice?
On average it takes about 15 days for Attendance Sheets (invoices) to be processed; during high volume times (August – October), it may take up to 30 days.
What will delay my providers invoice from being paid in a timely manner?
The most common cause for delay is failing to provide Gap Solutions with a complete and accurate application and Attendance Sheet (invoice). We highly encourage child care providers to fill out each Attendance Sheet (invoice) electronically to ensure the information is legible.
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 Registration, Late, Early Withdrawal and Other Fees?
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 are clear and 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 subsidy benefit amount awarded.
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 supportive 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 by toll-free telephone number at 855-886-0687.
List of individual/state territory CCDF Plans (PDF)
Child Care Fact Sheet (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.