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Paying for Childcare Guide

Navigate essential resources for finding affordable childcare in Pennsylvania  

This guide is designed to help alleviate the financial burden of childcare for families in Pennsylvania. We understand the challenges families face in affording quality care, which is why we've compiled essential resources to assist you. Child Care Works (CCW) offers subsidized childcare for low-income families, ensuring access to vital services. Pre-K Counts provides quality pre-kindergarten programs for eligible 3 and 4-year-olds, setting the foundation for lifelong learning. Additionally, Head Start offers comprehensive education, health, and social services for families with children aged 3-5, fostering holistic development. Explore these resources to secure affordable and enriching child care options for your family.

Child Care Works

The Child Care Works (CCW) program stands aims to ease the financial strain of childcare fees for families in Pennsylvania. Managed by the Early Learning Resource Center (ELRC) in each county, CCW offers vital subsidies to eligible families, covering a portion of childcare costs while requiring a family co-pay. Updated regulations ensure fairness and transparency, while eligibility guidelines prioritize those who work or attend educational programs. With income guidelines set at 200% of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines, families can access crucial assistance. Flexible provider options and streamlined application processes aim to empower families in securing quality childcare. 

Pre-K Counts

Providing access to high-quality half-day and full-day pre-kindergarten programs, Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts (Pre-K Counts) is a pivotal resource for families of eligible 3 and 4-year-olds across the state. Specifically designed for children at risk of academic challenges, including English language learners and those with special needs, Pre-K Counts emphasizes readiness for kindergarten and future academic success. With a focus on individualized learning experiences and small class sizes, children benefit from personalized attention and holistic development. Notably, Pre-K Counts offers free enrollment to eligible families, with options for additional wraparound childcare services available for a fee. Enroll your child today! 

Head Start

Head Start offers education, health, and social services for families with kids aged 3 to 5. The primary goal is to prepare children for school and life, while also offering nutrition, health, and family support throughout their journey. The program is free for families at 100% of the federal poverty level, with a focus on inclusivity by reserving 10% enrollment for children with disabilities. You'll find Head Start programs in every Pennsylvania county, offering center-based or home-based services. Plus, Pennsylvania boosts Head Start with additional state funding, ensuring more families can access these valuable services. Apply through local grantees to kick-start your child's educational journey.