The Child Care Financial Assistance Regulations approved by the Legislature in 2009 created the "service need" Child with Special Health Need. This change allowed for the first time for children with a special need to be approved for child care financial assistance based on their special need, and the parents or guardians did not then also need to have a reason for needing child care, such as employment or training. This change took several years to implement fully, and was consistently applied in all Agency of Human Services Districts in state fiscal year 2014 through the Children's Integrated Services (CIS) teams. The significant growth in this service need can be attributed to this change in policy.
The children who are now served under Children with Special Health Needs may have been currently participating in the Child Care Financial Assistance Program through a different need for financial assistance, including employment or training. The children in this category have decreased this year, and may be being served by publicly funded preschool and have no need for the Child Care Financial Assistance.
The local Children's Integrated Services (CIS) teams are partners and ensure that families who need this service are referred to the team.