How to Apply for the CAPS Program

To apply for subsidized child care (CAPS program) in Georgia, families must be a resident of the state of Georgia. Georgians are now able to apply for child care online with Georgia COMPASS at www.compass.ga.gov. Georgia COMPASS allows customers to check their potential eligibility and apply for child care online. Customers, who create an account in Georgia COMPASS, can check the status of their application online and renew their benefits.

Beginning August 1, 2016, Georgia will institute a statewide funding restriction for the Childcare and Parent Services (CAPS) program. On that date only applicants who meet eligibility requirements AND who are a member of a priority group as defined in CAPS policy will be approved to receive child care assistance. CAPS policy defines priority groups as people who demonstrate the greatest need for child care assistance. A list of priority groups and the eligibility requirements can be viewed at www.CAPS.decal.ga.gov.

Georgia is instituting the funding restriction to ensure that the state is following federal guidelines mandated by the reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG). As part of the changes resulting from reauthorization, the CAPS program will raise the reimbursement rates for child care providers caring for children through CAPS. To maintain the state’s prescribed CAPS funding without terminating child care assistance to families currently participating in the program, it is necessary to prioritize new families enrolling in CAPS based on specific needs.

Families currently participating in CAPS will be assessed for eligibility at their redetermination date that occurs after October 1, 2016. Families who are eligible but who are not a member of a priority group at redetermination may be eligible for short-term child care assistance to transition off the CAPS program.

For additional information, visit www.CAPS.decal.ga.gov and read the Frequently Asked Questions about priority group based funding.