How to Become a CAPS Provider
Licensed child care programs as well as two categories of license-exempt programs (government owned and operated child care programs and day camps) are eligible to participate in CAPS. When a child care program is licensed by or receives a qualifying license exemption from DECAL, the program is automatically added to the CAPS provider management system (Maxstar) as an eligible provider. To learn more about eligible child care providers, see the CAPS Participating Providers Policy. As noted in CAPS policy, Quality Rated eligible providers must be star rated by December 31, 2020, to participate in the CAPS program.
Families can choose to enroll their child in any eligible child care program. If a family selects a program that does not already participate in CAPS, the CAPS State Provider Management Agent (Maximus) reaches out to the child care program to start the CAPS onboarding process. The onboarding process includes:
- Participating in webinars that review CAPS policies and billing procedures
- Submitting required paperwork (e.g., CAPS provider agreement, form W9, child care rates, direct deposit form)
There are many benefits to being a CAPS provider. Most importantly, by participating in CAPS, child care programs demonstrate their commitment to ensuring families with lower incomes have equal access to high-quality early learning environments. In addition, CAPS providers who earn a one-, two-, or three-star rating in Quality Rated are eligible for tiered reimbursement, which provides a quality bonus of 10%, 20%, or 40% of the net reimbursement amount (after family fee). To learn more about tiered reimbursement, see the Quality Rated Program Manual. Two- and three-star Quality Rated providers also may have the opportunity to apply for Quality Rated Subsidy Grants (which provide steady funding for a fixed number of eligible children) as those grants become available.
CAPS providers can bill weekly for CAPS services and receive payment via ACH transfer. Most providers use the online billing portal which allows for faster processing and payment, but paper invoices are also an option. Payments are generally issued within 5-10 days of when the invoice was received.
To learn more, visit About CAPS, CAPS Funding Model or Policies and Procedures. You can also call Maximus at 877-755-6522, visit the CAPS provider portal or send a message to CAPS via the online Contact Us form.