BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — A waitlist for Louisiana families to apply for child care assistance begins on October 1, according to the state department of education.

The Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) said eligible families who apply for the Child Care Assistance Program on or after Oct. 1 will be placed on the waitlist. The program provides financial assistance to low-income families while working or attending school and serves 24,500 Louisiana children at this time, according to the department.

LDOE said the assistance program has grown to serve 3,000 more children after BESE approved an increase in payment rates and extended eligibility in February.

Applications received before Oct. 1 will be reviewed and receive funding as soon as families are determined eligible. The department said eligibility is determined 60-90 days of receiving a complete application.

Those exempt from the waitlist, according to LDOE, include children experiencing homelessness, children from families participating in STEP or Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships, children in foster care, or eligible special needs children.

To apply, click here. For more information about frequently asked questions, click here. LDOE can be reached at ldeccap@la.gov or 1-877-453-2721.