Health Equity Considerations
Once enrolled in ABC Quality, legally operating centers can opt to participate in the ABC Child Care Voucher System to serve families receiving child care vouchers. Families who meet income qualifications based on gross family income and are working, in school, or in training may choose a child care provider enrolled in the ABC Child Care Voucher System. For entrance to the program, the income criteria are no more than 150% of the federal poverty level. Once enrolled, when the gross family income exceeds 175% of the federal poverty level, the family is no longer eligible for a child care voucher. Children served by these centers statewide range in age from birth through 12 years (up through age 18 for children with special needs). There are no restrictions based on gender, race/ethnicity, or urban/rural location. Priority of funding is based partially on socioeconomic status, but in South Carolina, child care subsidy is extremely limited. Other priorities include those who have child protective services or foster care cases, and special needs children. ABC Quality standards are applied program wide; all children attending a child care center enrolled in the quality rating and improvement system are impacted by the ABC Grow Healthy Standards.