Family Copayment Contribution

The law requires most CCDF families to make a contribution to the cost of care through a copayment. Lead Agencies must establish and periodically revise a sliding fee scale (based on family size and income) that provides for cost-sharing for families receiving a subsidy. Family copayment contributions can also vary on the basis of additional factors established at the Lead Agency’s discretion, such as the number of children in care and whether the care is full- or part-time; however, states may not use the cost of care or amount of subsidy payment when determining copayments. Additionally, states should ensure that family copayments are not a barrier to families receiving assistance. States have flexibility in establishing their sliding fee scales and determining what constitutes a cost barrier for families. A recommended benchmark is 7 percent of a family's income.[2]

At the Lead Agency’s discretion, copayments may be waived in three circumstances: 1) for families at or below the poverty level; 2) on a case-by-case basis for families receiving or at risk of receiving protective services; and 3) for families that meet other criteria established by the Lead Agency.


[1] CCDBG Act of 2014 658E(c)(5); Child Care and Development Fund, 45 C.F.R. § 98.45(k) (2016).

[2] Office of Child Care, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2016). Child Care and Development Fund final rule frequently asked questions. Retrieved from