Making a Targeted Investment
Employers – ND’s Working Parents Child Care Relief (WPCCR) pilot program aims to help you attract and retain employees – specifically parents who need child care and may be experiencing challenges due to the high cost of infant and toddler care.
This cost-sharing pilot program focuses on families with young children (birth – 36 months) because this is when they face the greatest economic pressure and make critical decisions about how and if to rejoin the workforce. For example, as an employer, if you invest at least $300 per employee, per month, in a paid child care benefit, the state will match it (at $300/employee/month) for your qualifying employees.
Employers who can participate:
- North Dakota public sector and private sector employers are eligible to participate. A private sector employer must be a ND company, either for-profit or not-for-profit, that is active with the ND Secretary of State’s Office.
- North Dakota employers must commit to offering employees a paid child care benefit (stipend) for the duration of the pilot (through September 2026 or until funding is exhausted)
- The paid child care benefit that you offer as an employer must be at least $150/month/employee to be matched at the $150 level
- The paid child care benefit that you offer as an employer must be at least $300/month/employee to be matched at the $300 level
Eligible working parents:
- Work in the state of North Dakota
- Have a household income up to 150% of state median income
- Are raising children (ages birth - 36 months) and use licensed child care services in North Dakota
- Have applied for the Working Parents Child Care Relief pilot program
- Step-by-Step Guide for Employers to creating an account, submitting an opt-in-agreement and uploading verification of child care benefits
- Employer makes a paid child care benefit available.
- Employer opts-in for their employees to receive the Working Parents Child Care Relief state match. Employer will select only one match level for all eligible employees. Employer paid child care benefit must be equal to or greater than the match level selected.
- Level 1: $150/employee/month match
- Level 2: $300/employee/month match
- Employer receives a code to share with employees who must use it when they apply
- Working parent applies
- HHS determines eligibility and informs Working Parent and Employer of approved eligibility.
- Employer provides paid child care benefit to employees
- Employer uploads the monthly verification of paid child care benefit
- Verification must be uploaded monthly for the working parent to receive the match from HHS. Please read and review the How to Guide for Employers
- Upon verification of employer-led child care benefit, HHS will send the Working Parents Child Care Relief state match directly to qualifying working parent
Qualifying Gross Household Incomes (before taxes) updated October 2023
Family Size (Adults and Children)
Maximum Gross Monthly Household Income
Paying for Child Care
Families can apply for the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP), which helps pay a portion of the cost of child care for each eligible child (birth through 13th birthday) for qualifying families. Learn more at hhs.nd.gov/applyforhelp/ccap
Finding and Choosing Child Care
Know parents looking for child care? Have them visit the Early Childhood Information for Families page. Families can learn about care options, explore resources to help them make a decision, and use an online search tool.
This Working Parents Child Care Relief: How to Guide for Employers shows how to create an employer account, submit an opt-in agreement, upload monthly verification of paid child care benefits and more.
Frequently Asked Questions - Employers
Employer should notify HHS immediately at NDwpccr.email@example.com that the employee is no longer employed with the following information:
- Employee first and last name
- Date employment ended
- Date the employee was last eligible for the WPPCR benefit
Discounted child care does not count as an eligible benefit for parents to receive the HHS WPCCR matching stipend. The state does not consider a discount a paid stipend. Employers must pay a direct child care benefit payment (stipend) to employees for child care. A discount is like a coupon. A stipend is a taxable payment.
It is recommended that you maintain all financial records for a minimum of 7 years.
Attestation means the act of a person affirming through an electronic or written signature that the statements the person made when applying for eligibility are truthful and correct.
There is no maximum benefit match per employer. There is a maximum monthly benefit match of $150 or $300 per child paid to eligible working parents depending on if the employer has opted in at the $150 or $300 level.
While each employer must consider their own tax situation, and consult their own tax advisor, it is our understanding that both the employer contribution and the state match would be taxable.
Working parents who are participating in the state’s existing Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) are not eligible for a state match from the Working Parents Child Care Relief program for a child who may already be benefitting from CCAP.
Each parent will be given the choice of which program they would like to participate in. It is possible that a family may be eligible for CCAP but would choose to participate in the Working Parents Child Care Relief program, or vice versa. The decision of which program to participate in is ultimately up to the family. As long as the employer has opted in, and the family is eligible, they may have options to consider.
If an employer wishes to offer a child care benefit to employees who may not be eligible for Working Parents Child Care Relief (or for CCAP), they can certainly do so. That is an individual employer-level decision. The state’s program guidelines simply define who may be eligible to receive a state match from the pilot.
No. Working Parents Child Care Relief is a public-private partnership. The state match makes employer-led child care benefits go even farther for eligible working parents by doubling the employer’s investment.
ELIGIBILITY/APPLICATION/PAYMENT PROCESSING QUESTIONS
Part-time employees can participate as long as the employer provides a paid child care benefit (stipend) to the employee
Children under the age of 36 months must be attending an HHS licensed child care program, either full or part-time.
Payment is dispersed directly to the qualifying parent monthly after the employer uploads monthly paid child care benefit verification.
(See ‘How it Works’ section of the webpage.)