North Dakota’s Health and Human Services agency has enhanced its online Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) payment portal and the process used to pay participating child care providers.
Beginning Nov. 1, participating child care providers will notice improvements in the payment portal, called the Self Service Portal. The payment process will also change to align with the process most providers use of billing families in advance for child care. CCAP payments will be made to providers at the beginning of the month for care provided that month and will be based on the attendance schedule of participating children.
The Burgum administration and HHS have made investing in affordable, available, quality child care for working families a key priority. This latest investment makes it easier and more efficient for child care programs to work with the state's child care assistance program.
In November 2022, child care providers will be able to request payment for care scheduled for November. During this transition month to the new payment process, child care providers will also submit their CCAP payment request for care provided in October to children whose families participate in CCAP. Providers must also use the portal to submit a child care attendance record, which is used for program integrity and quality assurance reviews.
The improved online payment portal replaces the paper reimbursement forms and processes.
“We’ve worked to make the portal easier to use. Child care providers can now use a computer or smart phone to securely request payment from the program,” said HHS Economic Assistance Section Director Michele Gee.
Gee said switching from a paper process to an improved payment portal will speed up payments to providers and will prevent errors that can occur during data entry.
In preparation for the change, HHS has shared information on social media and mailed information directly to participating child care providers and families.
Providers who already use the payment portal can continue to use their same login ID and password.
Providers who are new to the online payment process will find information, including step-by-step instructions and training presentations online on the agency’s website at hhs.nd.gov/ccap-payment-improvements.
Gee said any licensed or self-declared child care providers who are anxious about switching to an online payment system should know there is time to make the transition. Providers can request payment for up to two months after providing care to a participating child.
If after viewing the online training resources, a child care provider still has questions about setting up an account on the portal and requesting payment, the provider can contact Economic Assistance at (701) 328-2332, toll-free (800) 755-2716, or 711 (TTY).
The website also has a language translation feature to assist providers whose primary language is not English.
HHS continues to have technology grants available through its Early Childhood Section to help licensed and regulated child care providers obtain or upgrade technology to better connect to training, professional development, CCAP reimbursement and child care licensing systems. Providers can apply at www.nd.gov/eforms/Doc/sfn01683.pdf if they have not already applied for and received a technology grant.
In August 2022, 2,489 North Dakota families participated in CCAP, which helps families afford quality child care while they work or attend school or training.
North Dakota increased the program’s qualifying income level in February 2022 from 60% to 85% of state median income. A family of three may qualify if the household’s monthly income is $6,371 or less.
To learn more about who qualifies and how to apply for help with child care costs, visit hhs.nd.gov/applyforhelp/ccap.