Child Care Payment Program FAQ 2019-10-11T13:07:06+00:00

Child Care Payment Program FAQ

General Questions

Yes. More children are being serviced in Mississippi than ever before. MDHS has funding for the foreseeable future. In February 2018, there were approximately 13,500 active certificates. As of August 2019, there were approximately 19,800 active certificates.

No. The waiting list was opened in February 2018. Any child eligible for a certificate may receive one at this point. Please note that a waiting list is different from the time it takes to process a parent application. A parent application cannot be completely processed until all required documents have been submitted. (See “How long will it take my application to get approved for a certificate?”)

Agency appeals are available to providers, applicants, or recipients as stated in Chapter 9 of the Child Care Payment Policy manual. Below is language from the policy manual specifically related to administrative agency appeal.


An administrative agency appeal hearing is available for any child care provider, applicant or recipient upon written request to the Administrative Hearings Division of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of MDHS. An administrative agency appeal hearing provides an opportunity for a more formal review when the child care provider, applicant, or recipient disagrees with an adverse action that was taken directly by MDHS. MDHS Programmatic Administrative Agency Appeal Hearing Policy is incorporated herein by reference (See Part 23, Chapter 3).”

Here is a link to the MDHS Programmatic Administrative Agency Appeal Hearing Policy that is incorporated by reference: .


It depends on how quickly you submit you application and the required documents. You have up to 60 days from the time you start your application to submit the application. Once the application is submitted, you are allowed up to 60 days to submit all required documents. After all the required documents are submitted, MDHS staff will review your application within 60 days. The sooner the required documents are submitted, the sooner your application will be reviewed. (For example: If you complete your application AND submit all required documents on Day 1, then you should receive a final answer by Day 61).

You may have received this letter for various reasons such as:

  • the original document submitted was of poor quality or was illegible and could not be read
  • the original document submitted was not within the required time frame needed (For example, proof of income documents must be within the last 30 days)
  • the document was mailed and never made it to our office

We ALWAYS recommend that you keep your original document and send only a copy of the requested document. We accept documents in many formats including, but not limited to, photos of a document taken with your phone, scanned copies, photocopies, and electronic copies.


Yes. Child care providers may claim 5 yr. olds with a FT/PT (Full-Time/Part-Time) certificate if the child attends the center full-time. Full-time is defined as child care provided for six (6) or more hours of a 24-hour day.

Contact the Mississippi Department of Health at 601-576-7400.

Health and safety trainings are conducted by the Early Childhood Academy (ECA) and are available online and face-to-face. Go to this link to register for a training: or call 601-432-6519. You will need an email address for each staff member to register for the training. You cannot use the childcare center’s email address.

Health and safety orientation training must be completed within 90 days from the date of hire.

Health and safety orientation training must be completed every two (2) years by every staff member.

Professional development trainings are conducted by the Early Childhood Academy (ECA) and the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH). Go to this link to register for trainings offered by ECA: Go to this link to register for trainings offered by MSDH:,0,183,437.html

Every staff member of a licensed and unlicensed providers must follow Mississippi State Department of Health regulations requiring 15 contact hours of professional development each year. License exempt providers must adhere to professional development requirements as prescribed by the organization that sanctions the program and upon which its license exempt status is based.

Contact the Early Childhood Academy (ECA) for assistance in helping you develop an emergency preparedness response plan at 601-432-6519.

You have a number of resources available to assist you in completing your Standard application.

  • Early Childhood Academy (ECA) – 601-432-6519

Your best resource is an ECA coach. A coach can speak with you by phone or come on site and assist you in person with your application.

  • PIP System Support (NSPARC) – 844-402-2889

Computer support related to your PIP application.

  • Licensure/Registration Support (MS Dept. of Health) – 601-576-7400

Information about your center’s license or registration.

  • CCPP Support (MDHS) – 800-877-7882

Information about general requirements for the Child Care Payment Program (CCPP)

Each Standard application is reviewed by curriculum reviewers and MDHS staff reviewers. The first section of the application to be reviewed is Section 3: Curriculum Information. Section 3 is reviewed by the curriculum review team comprised of Early Childhood Academy staff with credentials in early childhood education. The curriculum review will not result in a denial of the application but instead is used to determine if a provider needs technical assistance. The next sections reviewed are Section 1: Provider Information, Section 2: Professional Development, and Section 4: Self-Assessment. These Sections are reviewed by MDHS staff. The reviewers are looking for completion of responses in these sections.

Lack of curriculum is not a barrier to becoming a Standard designated provider. The Standard application allows you to select an option stating that your center does not have any type of curriculum. This is a one-time option for providers that leads to intensive technical assistance to assist a provider in developing and implementing curriculum. The provider must then have curriculum in place upon renewal. You may also contact the Early Childhood Academy (ECA) at 601-432-6519 for assistance.

A provider will be denied only if the provider does not submit a standard application or fails to meet the other standard designation requirements. (See next question for requirements)

  • Must have a licensed or be registered with the Mississippi State Department of Health. This requirement includes:
    • Current criminal background check (through the Mississippi State Department of Health) for all staff at your facility
    • Current immunization for all staff at your facility
  • Must complete Health and Safety training for all staff (once every two years).
  • Must complete mandatory preservice and ongoing professional development related to early childhood care and development.
  • Have curricula and/or learning activities or be working toward curricula with an Early Childhood Academy coach that are aligned to State Early Learning Guidelines and Standards as adopted by the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE).
    • Technical assistant on curricula and/or learning activities is offered by Early Childhood Academy to providers at no cost to the providers
  • Be engaged in continuous quality improvement. (This is accomplished when you complete the self-assessment in the Standard application)

This Comprehensive Pilot Program is a separate program from the Child Care Payment Program. (The Child Care Payment Program is funded through the Child Care Development Fund and administered by the Mississippi Department of Human Services.) The Comprehensive Pilot Program is a program funded by a grant called the Preschool Development Grant Birth to Five (PDG B-5) and administered by the Mississippi Community College Board. Participants for this program have been selected and received notice of their selection in early September 2019.

Yes, you can receive and keep the full amount of reimbursement from MDHS if your tuition rates are less than the MDHS market rate. We are seeking further clarifications. But in the future, you may have to track any overage to account for it as quality money. But that will only affect the way you report rates, not how much money you are allowed to keep.

MDHS’s Office of Inspector General will soon begin randomly selecting providers for review of records. MDHS also investigates if a complaint is filed with the agency.

A child shall be allowed up to five (5) paid unexcused absence days per month. Child care providers are paid for a full month for up to five (5) absent days. If a child is absent for more than five (5) days, the child care provider shall be paid on a daily basis. No documentation is needed for these absences. Excessive absences — Absences are considered excessive whenever a child(ren) is absent from a child care center for sixty (60) consecutive days or more.

Exception to the excessive absence rule: Temporary long-term absences — May be granted for special circumstances such as chronic illness of the child, custody situation that requires the child to spend extended time with a non-custodial parent, or a temporary move out of state. Requests should be made in writing to MDHS if absences will exceed sixty (60) consecutive days, and will be granted on a case by case basis. If granted, the certificate will continue to remain active, regardless of attendance, but the child care provider will only be paid for five (5) days of absence per month. However, the child care provider has the option to disenroll the child from his or her child care center.

MDHS pays an annual registration/activity fee of $50. If you categorize your enrollment or preschool fee as a registration/activity fee then you could claim $50 annually per child. This payment will only be paid once a year when a new child care certificate is issued. Payment will occur at initial application for new applicants and at redetermination for existing parents.

Child care providers are required to collect co-payments each month, maintain documentation of collection, and report non-payment to MDHS.

Mississippi’s child care reimbursement rate is set at 75% of the state’s average child care payment rates by age of child, child’s full- or part-time status, and facility type based on the most recent Market Rate Survey.

All child care providers are paid the same reimbursement rates based on the type of provider (center-based child care or family child care). This means all center-based child care providers are reimbursed at the same rates as all other center-based child care providers. And, all family child care providers are reimbursed at the same rates as all other family child care providers.