January, 2018
For years, childcare providers licensed by the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services (ODJFS) have had to deal with an antiquated and cumbersome automated payment system known as Ohio Electronic Child Care (ECC) to track attendance and calculate payments for publicly funded childcare services.

Among the worst aspects of the ECC payment system were the swipe cards, which had to be swiped into a point-of-service device inside the home or childcare center by each parent or caretaker every single time that a child checked in and out. This necessitated that the parent or caretaker be present for every pick-up or drop off in order to properly record the child’s attendance.

Equally problematic is the ODJFS-endorsed practice of “back-swiping” whereby parents or caretakers may retroactively enter their child’s attendance into the point-of-service device. Each date and hour must be inputted correctly and any error is liable to have severe consequences for providers, including non-payment for services rendered, revocation actions and even felony charges.

Fortunately, ODJFS recently announced that it will do away with the unwieldy ECC payment system and replace it with a new system called the Child Care Time, Attendance and Payment (TAP) System, which is said to be more efficient, accurate, and user-friendly than ECC. The TAP system reportedly does away with the use of swipe-cards and features a mobile tablet that will allow parents to enter child attendance on the mobile tablet instead of a stationary point-of-service device.

As ODJFS rolls out the new system over the coming months, licensed providers are encouraged to monitor the new system for possible problems and learn all aspects of its functionality. Remember: if something goes wrong and raises ambiguity about the hours of childcare services provided, ODJFS is likely to resolve the matter in manner detrimental to the provider.