The subsidized child care program helps low-income families pay their child care fees. The state and federal governments fund this program, which is managed by the Early Learning Resource Center (ELRC) office located in your county.
If you meet the guidelines:
NOTE: If your child care subsidy does not pay the full amount that your child care program charges, the provider may ask you to pay the difference between the subsidy payment and their private charges.
You must submit an application to the ELRC to see if you meet the guidelines for the subsidized child care program.
The following are the basic guidelines:
The annual income for a family to be eligible to receive subsidy if 200 percent or less of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines:
|Family Size||Maximum Yearly|
Family Income (May 2018)
(Note: The above information provides only general guidelines. Other conditions may apply. Please contact your county Early Learning Resource Center to apply for assistance.)
You can also apply for benefits and renew benefits by using COMPASS, the online resource for cash assistance, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), child care, health care coverage, home heating assistance (LIHEAP), school meals, SelectPlan for Women and long-term living services.
You may contact your local Early Learning Resource Center for resource and referral services. Your ELRC can assist you in finding a facility that meets your needs. You can also find a listing of regulated child care providers through the Online Child Care Provider Search. To request information regarding a facility's certification or registration history, current certification status, and verified complaint history you may contact the Regional Child Development Office or review a facilities history Online.
Contact the appropriate Department of Human Services' Regional Child Development Office. Each regional child day care office is assigned responsibility for certain counties in Pennsylvania. Regional office staff investigate complaints about child care centers, group child care homes, and family child care homes that do not follow the regulatory requirements for operating a facility. You may also register an Online Complaint.
The most important way to be certain that your child is safe and well cared for is to become a partner with your child care provider. Here is a checklist that will provide you with ideas about what to look for at the provider location you choose.
CareCheck: is the term for required child abuse and State Police background clearances for relatives who care for children whose parents participate in the subsidized child care program.
Relatives who care for three or fewer children, not including their own children, are not required to have a state license, but can receive subsidized child care funding. Relatives who participate as providers for the subsidized child care are required to complete CareCheck. CareCheck is the Department of Human Services program that requires State Police criminal history and child abuse background clearances for all relative providers. In addition to CareCheck, relatives must obtain Federal criminal history clearances. The relative provider must pay the cost of the Federal criminal history clearance, which is $23.00. Relatives must complete CareCheck and Federal criminal history clearances in order to be eligible to be paid through the Subsidized Child Care Program. Relatives are defined as grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles and siblings. All relative providers must be 18 years of age or older and live in a residence separate from the residence of the child for whom they will provide care.
To find out more about background clearances, call the Child Care Works helpline at 1-877-4-PA-KIDS (1-877-472-5437).