Pennsylvania Child Care AssistanceChild Care Assistance in Pennsylvania

Many parents with children can quickly become overwhelmed financially to cover expenses of Child Care. In the state of Pennsylvania, there is a Child Care assistance program in place for eligible families that is administered by the state.  The federal and stage governments fund the program and The Early Leaning Resource Center (ELRC) manages it. The following are the basic guidelines to be eligible for  the Child Care Works Subsidized Child Care Program:

*Please be advised that if you are a teen parent, you are required to attend an education program
  • You have to be a resident of Pennsylvania
  • Have a child or children who need Child Care while you while you work 20 or more hours a week, or work 10 hours and go to school or train for 10 hours a week, or have a promise of a job that will start within 30 days of your application for subsidized Child Care
  • Meet income guidelines for your family size
  • The child who needs Child Care must be a citizen of the United States or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residency
  • Each parent or caretaker in the home must have proof of identification

Income Guidelines For Child Care Assistance 

The annual income for a family to be eligible to receive Child Care  subsidy is 200or less of the Federal Poverty Income. 

Family Size Maximum Yearly
Family Income (May 2018)
2 $33,820
3 $42,660
4 $51,500
5 $60,340
6 $69,180
7 $78,020
8 $86,860

Please note the above information provides only general guidelines. Other conditions may apply. Please contact your county Early Learning Resource Center to apply for assistance.

If you are eligible for Child Care assistance the ELRC will pay a portion of your Child Care cost which is called a subsidy payment. You will be required to pay part of the cost, and that’s called the family co-pya. And both the subsidy payment and the family co-pay will go straight to the Child Care program.

Additional Guidelines For Child Care Assistance 

  • Each adult family member in the household must work at least 20 hours a week or work at least 10 hours a week in addition to participating in an approved training program for at least 10 hours a week.
  • The hours that a child  receives subsidized Child Care must coincide with hours of work, training or education.
  • Children are eligible for care from birth until the day of their 13th birthday. Children with disabilities may be eligible for Child Care until they are  18-year-old.
  • Parents are responsible for helping pay for Child Care. This is called a co-payment. The co-payment may be as little as $5.00 per week and will vary to income and the total number of people in each household.
  • The parent may choose the Child Care provider of his or her choice. The parent may choose a Child Care Center, group daycare, in-home based Child Care, or can choose a family member to take care of their child.
  • The parent who is receiving a subsidy for Child Care must provide an eligible child care provider. Relative providers must complete an Agreement with the ELRC and are required to follow all participation requirements listed. They also are required to follow all rules in the Agreement and must complete CareCheck in order to be able to participate in the Subsidized Child Care Program. 
  • If funding is not available for a family that is eligible for Child Care their child may be placed on the waiting list until funding does become available. 

You can apply for Child Care Assistance online (PDF)

Additional Resources

Early Learning Resource Center