Child Care and Early Learning

Increasing evidence has emerged to show that children's learning opportunities in the years before kindergarten have an important effect on their performance in school and ultimately their ability to contribute to society as adults. Through the Office of Child Development and Early Learning, Pennsylvania is helping our children, families, teachers and communities reach their promise.

Keystone STARS

Keystone STARS rates child care programs from one to four STARS on things you care about (meets state regulations for safety, offers a kid-friendly atmosphere with good teachers that partner with you to help your child learn) so you can find the program that feels right for your family.  Keystone STARS provides early childhood programs in Pennsylvania with the tools to continually improve service to children and families. Through the Keystone STARS program and the STARS rating system, families know that as programs earn more STARS, they are providing higher quality early education for their child. You can search for a Keystone STARS program in your area.

Help with child care expenses

If you are looking for help to pay child care expenses, or if you need help figuring out how to care for and educate your young child, Child Care Works can help. For more information, call the Child Care Works helpline at 1-877-4-PA-KIDS. You can also find help and information at your local Child Care Information Services office.

We share the concern of parents the child care centers, group child care homes and family child care homes in Pennsylvania meet basic health and safety standards. Through our Certification Services Bureau, we certify and register child care facilities to make sure they meet these standards. 

Search for a child care provider
 
You can find child care providers near your home or workplace using the Online Child Care Provider Search database.   
 
Licensing and Inspection Reports
 
You can also use the Online Child Care Provider Search to review certification information about a provider, including the provider’s certificate status, verified complaints and inspection results. If you want more information about a provider, please contact the Regional OCDEL Office that covers the county where the provider is located.
 
OCDEL Child Care Providers

Information on Becoming and Operating a Child Care Program

CCDBG State Plan

Pennsylvania's State Plan for Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG)

The Department of Education and Department of Human Human Services Office of Child Development and Early Learning is pleased to announce the public hearing for the draft Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) state plan.  The Child Care Development Block Grant is one of the primary federal funding sources for monitoring regulated child care programs, child care subsidy through Child Care Works, and child care quality improvement through Keystone STARS.

Public hearings were held in December and January in Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, and King of Prussia.

Disabilities or developmental delays

If your child is birth to five and has disabilities or developmental delays, our Early Intervention services can provide access to as many opportunities as possible to help them reach their promise. Parents interested in early intervention services may contact the CONNECT Helpline at 1-800-692-7288.

Act 24 Data Collection for PA Departments of Education and Human Services

Pursuant to Act 24 of 2011, the Departments of Education and Human Services are required to submit a report which includes data collected through the Department of Education’s Pennsylvania Information Management System (PIMS) and the Office of Child Development and Early Learning’s Pennsylvania’s Enterprise to Link Information for Children Across Networks (PELICAN). You can access the reporter here.

For Parents

Other useful links are listed in the "Related Topics" section.