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DCF Provider Resources

This page was created to help providers who have questions about becoming a DCF provider.

All information was taken from the DCF Provider Handbook.

If you have questions please contact your DCF office.

Requirements to become a licensed DCF Provider

A licensed child care provider through KDHE, you must first apply and be approved for a license from KDHE before DCF will consider your application to enroll as a provider.

  • A facility with a Temporary Permit is not considered licensed.


ALL DCF Child Care Providers, must be U.S. citizens or legally residing in the U.S. with a valid Social Security number. DCF completes extensive background checks on the provider, household members, age 10 or older, and volunteers (if applicable). These background checks may include a Child Abuse-Neglect Registry check, a check of the Adult Abuse, Neglect, Exploitation Registry, a check of the Kansas Adult Supervised Population Electronic Repository (KASPER) and other available registries. Each person must pass a background check before the agreement is approved. A provider is not eligible to be approved if the names of any of the persons living, working or volunteering in his/her facility appear on the Child Abuse-Neglect Registry, the Adult Abuse, Neglect, Exploitation Registry, KASPER, or has a felony conviction.

Provider Responsibilities:

  • Providers must keep enrollment records for a period of three years, even if the DCF agreement has ended. This includes the Parent/Provider Contract. This is for auditing/review purposes.

  • Collect new updated family/provider contracts, signed by currently enrolled families, each time a change occurs such as a rate change, hours of operation, ownership change, address change, name change or a new enrollment after a gap in care.

  • Record daily attendance with actual sign in and out times (indicating am/pm and not estimating or rounding up/down the time.) Records should be maintained for a period of three years, even if the DCF agreement has ended, for auditing/review purposes.

  • Receive Child Care subsidy benefits (Electronic Benefits Transfer benefits) from families only for children attending the facility, not to hold or reserve a spot for a child who is not currently enrolled or attending.

  • Accept payment only for children residing outside their home. If you are a foster parent, please contact your local DCF office for guidelines on being a foster parent who is also a child care provider.

  • Maintain accurate payment records/receipts for a period of three years, even if the DCF agreement has ended, for auditing/review purposes.

  • Discuss payment policies with families and provide receipts for ALL payments.

  • Notify DCF provider enrollment staff when a child no longer attends, transfers, or is no longer enrolled.

  • Notify DCF provider enrollment staff when a change in operation occurs. (e.g. name change, address, telephone numbers, ownership, household members/staff, hourly rates changed to the private sector, or specialized services available for a child with disabilities).

  • Notify DCF provider enrollment staff if you suspect child care subsidy funds are being misused. • Respond to all requests for information by DCF.

  • Provide copies of documents requested by auditors/reviewers. A financial audit/review of records may occur at any time.

  • Return completed forms in person, by mail or electronically. DCF will return a signed copy of the agreement to providers for their records. DCF has the right to use the Social Security number you provide on your enrollment for computer matches with other organizations, such as the IRS and the Social Security Administration.

  • Comply with all applicable city, county, State and federal laws, statutes and regulations, such as, but not limited to, provisions of the Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Act  

  • Obtain and maintain current information on each child, as required by Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Child Care Licensing. Examples may include a health assessment, consent for medical care, documentation of immunization dates, etc.

  • Have a policy in place that allows homeless families and families fostering children up to a 60-day grace period. This gives families time to obtain the required documentation for enrollment into a child care setting. Families will not be turned away from enrolling because such documentation is not readily available due to their current situation. Licensed child care providers will not be found in noncompliance during the 60-day grace period.

  • Complete and submit Adult Abuse, Neglect, Exploitation Central Registry Release of Information for the child care provider, household members (18 and older) and all staff (including new staff and new household members over 18).

  • Comply with applicable discipline policies, as referenced by Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and DCF. Punishment, which is humiliating, frightening or physically harmful to the child shall be prohibited (K.A.R. 28-4-132), even if the family provides written or verbal permission.

  • Maintain minimum health and safety requirements for the children in care. They must provide a safe and clean environment for children and staff.

  • Child care providers are mandated reporters. Contact DCF Child Protective Services at 1-800-922-5330 or the local police department if a child is suspected of being neglected, physically, sexually or mentally abused.

  • Treat DCF families the same as private pay families.

  • Protect the confidentiality of children and families’ information.

  • Provide families of children in care their tax identification number or Social Security number for their child care income tax credit.

  • Allow families to access their children at any time while in care.

  • Keep families informed of their business practices, policies and procedure by providing them updated parent/provider contracts to sign when there are changes.

  • Notify families in advance of planned absences

  • Prohibit smoking in the home/facility during hours children are in care.

  • Offer nutritious meals and snacks as defined by regulation

Contracts and Policies

DCF requires the use of family/provider contracts or agreements for licensed child care providers and unregulated child care centers and child care homes. Family/Provider contracts are encouraged for all other provider types. The only legal constraint when setting program policies is that the rules cannot violate local, State or federal law. Local Resource and Referral agencies (CCR & R) can offer further advice regarding contracts and policies.


Contracts should contain items that deal with the family and the provider’s legal rights that can be enforced by a court of law. The most important of these rights is the right of a provider to be paid for child care. Families must be given a copy of the signed parent/provider contract or agreement. At a minimum, contracts must be typed and include:

  • Facility name and address

  • Hours and Days of operation

  • The rates being charged (if the rates are not included in the text of the contract, it must be provided on a separate rate sheet)

  • When payment is expected

  • A space for the names of children for whom will be provided care

  • A space for both parent/guardian and provider to sign and date

  • Behavior guidance policy (see Social-Emotional and Behavioral Issues)


Termination of contract procedures:

  • Include reasons why a provider may terminate. (see Expulsion Policy)

  • Include the provider’s policy for the termination of care due to nonpayment and/or a child who stops attending with no communication from the child’s parent, guardian or primary caretaker.

  • Include an expectation regarding the time period to which there is nonpayment or loss of contact prior to termination.

  • Include the expectation of a two-week written notice for termination of care to the provider by a parent, guardian or primary caretaker.


In order to provide families with the most information regarding the provider’s business, additional polices to consider may include, but not limited to:

  • Description of program philosophy

  • Basic daily schedule

  • Addresses and phone numbers of adults who will pick up/drop off children (some providers request a photo copy of a driver’s license or other photo id)

  • Scheduled and unscheduled child absences

  • Penalty fees (overtime fees, late pickup fees, late payment fees)

  • Substitute care arrangements

  • Sick child exclusion policies

  • Medical and emergency release forms

  • Supplies parents will be asked to bring

  • Plans or procedures for family/provider meetings or conferences

  • Transportation of children to school or classes 

  • Special activities and cost

  • Emergency procedures

  • Children with special needs


Each time a change occurs with your contract, please provide DCF provider enrollment staff and your parents with a new copy. Please be sure a new signed copy is in your DCF enrolled child’s file.

Frequently Asked Questions

How will I know if a parent is eligible for DCF subsidy benefits?

Answer: Providers will receive an eligibility notice when children in their care are approved for child care subsidy benefits.

How will I know the amount of the parent’s subsidy benefit?

Answer: This amount of a parent’s subsidy benefit is confidential. A parent may, however, choose to disclose this information to a provider for rate negotiation purposes.

How does payment for child care on EBT work?

Answer: DCF does not pay providers directly. DCF issues parents a child care subsidy benefit on the first day of every month. Parents use that benefit towards services provided throughout the month. The benefit can be transferred at an amount and frequency agreed upon between the parent and provider. The benefit is based on hours needed per month, the hourly rate (State rate) of the chosen provider type, family size and income. Parents use their benefits to make child care payments electronically to DCF-enrolled providers only.


How will the families make payment using their DCF childcare subsidy benefit?

Answer: There are three methods of payment available. The first is through a Point of Sale (POS) device. The provider may lease the POS device to use with parents receiving DCF subsidy benefits. The second is through an Audio Response Unit (ARU). This is a toll-free telephone payment option. Parents may use the ARU from any location and at any time using a touch- tone telephone. This method can be used with providers not wishing to lease a POS device. The third method is through an internet site where the parent accesses his/her EBT Kansas Benefits Card account and transfers benefits to his/her child care provider’s bank account or pay card to apply to the cost of services purchased.


If families show up and tell me they “have funds”, how soon will I know if they really “have funds?”

Answer: After parents are determined eligible for child care assistance, a notice of eligibility will be sent to the child care provider to advise them of the child’s eligibility.


Will registration fee assistance be put on the EBT Kansas Benefits card?

Answer: Yes. If a parent requests assistance for the registration fee and is eligible for enrollment fee assistance, this amount may be added to the child care subsidy benefit on the EBT Kansas Benefits Card.


What happens if a family receiving DCF subsidy benefits doesn’t pay or refuses to pay?

Answer: Non-payment issues with parents receiving the DCF subsidy should be treated in the same manner as non-payment issues with private-pay parents. DCF will not mediate these disputes.

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