What should I know about Children and Parents Services (CAPS)?

Authored By: GeorgiaLegalAid.org
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Child care help

Children and Parent Services (CAPS) scholarships in Georgia


What is CAPS?

The CAPS program helps low income families with the cost of child care. CAPS is run through the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL). Families can apply for scholarships for child care if they meet certain requirements. The amount of the scholarship will depend on the family’s income. Each family may also be required to contribute to the child care. 

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What are my rights with CAPS funding?

You have a right to apply for a CAPS scholarship. The scholarship helps pay for child care if you meet the eligibility requirements. You must prove that:


  • You are a Georgia resident,

  • The child is 12 or younger, or 17 years-old or younger if the child has a qualifying disability,

  • Your child is a U.S. citizen or is legally residing in the United States,

  • Your child has up-to-date immunizations,

  • You are working or going to school,

  • Your family’s income is equal to or less than 50% of the current State Median Income.

  • Your child or family is in a priority group.


Funding for CAPS is limited and not all families who qualify get assistance. The Department of Early Care and Learning uses priority groups to decide who will get scholarships. The priority groups are:


  • Children in Georgia Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) custody 

  • Families experiencing domestic violence 

  • Families of children with disabilities 

  • Families of children enrolled in the lottery-funded Georgia’s Pre-K Program

  • Families participating in or transitioning from TANF 

  • Families who have experienced a natural disaster 

  • Families who lack fixed, regular, and adequate housing 

  • Families with very low income as defined by CAPS 

  • Grandparents Raising Grandchildren (GRG) 

  • Minor parents 

  • Children who need to receive protective services


If you are approved for a CAPS scholarship, you have the right to tour and choose your child care provider. The provider must be approved by the Department of Early Care and Learning.

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What are my responsibilities with CAPS?

When applying for a CAPS scholarship, you have to give proof of your eligibility. If your application was denied and you want to appeal that decision, you are responsible for asking for an administrative hearing.


If you receive a CAPS scholarship, you will be responsible for: 

  • Paying a family fee each week,

  • Complying with audits and investigations,

  • Paying all claims,

  • Complying with all policies related to the subsidy program,

  • Reporting changes in your circumstances to the CAPS program within 10 calendar days of becoming aware of the change.

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How can I apply for CAPS?

You can apply for CAPS online at Georgia Gateway. If you need help submitting an online application, you can call 1-833-4GACAPS (1-833-442-2277). Before starting the application, make sure you gather all of the documents you need to prove you qualify. After you have completed your application, a CAPS staff member will call you to review your application.  

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How can I appeal a CAPS decision?

You have the right to appeal most CAPS decisions, including:

  • Whether you are eligible for a scholarship, 

  • Your income calculation, and/or

  • Claim establishments


To appeal, you must ask CAPS in writing for an administrative hearing within 14 days of the decision.

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Last Review and Update: Mar 27, 2022
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