Juvenile Law Center

Reproductive Rights, Pregnancy, and Parenting

Low-Income Child Care in Pennsylvania

If I am receiving welfare (TANF), how can I get help with paying for child care?

If you receive TANF, you can get help from the county assistance office to pay for child care while you work or go to school. Child care assistance is considered a special allowance. Make sure you put child care in your Agreement of Mutual Responsibility (AMR).

If I am receiving food stamps, how can I get help paying for child care?

If you are receiving food stamps and are meeting the requirements of the Employment and Training Program, you may be eligible for help paying for child care while you are going to school or working. This assistance would also be called a special allowance. The child care special allowance must be written on your Employment Development Plan.

How do I get help paying for child care if I am not receiving cash assistance or food stamps?

If you do not receive cash assistance or food stamps, and are low income, you may be eligible for a child care subsidy.

Who is eligible for a child care subsidy?

You may be eligible for a child care subsidy if you:

  • Meet income requirements (for one parent and a child, you must make under $26,400)
  • Meet the work/education requirements

To meet the work and education requirements, you must do one of the following:

  • Work at least 20 hours/week 
  • Work at least 10 hours and go to school/training at least 10 hours/week 
  • Attend high school full time if you are under age 22 
  • Attend high school or another educational program full time if you are under age 18

Sometimes there are waiting lists for child care after you are found eligible for the subsidy, so you should apply as soon as you can if you need child care. You can call the Child Care Works Hotline at 1-877-472-5437 to begin your application for a child care subsidy.

If I am in DHS care, how do I get help to pay for child care?

If you are in DHS care, DHS will help you find and pay for child care so you can go to school, work, and receive any independent living skills training you need. DHS may require the agency you are placed to help you find child care. If you are eligible for a child care subsidy or other child care assistance, DHS and your placement agency will help you apply. If you are having trouble getting child care, talk with your child advocate attorney and your DHS and agency worker.

Where can I get help finding a child care provider?

No matter how you are getting help paying for child care, the Child Care Information Services (CCIS) of Philadelphia can help you find a child care provider near where you live, work, or go to school. Visit www.philadelphiachildcare.org for a list of CCIS locations in Philadelphia.


Last updated December 2011


Juvenile Law Center's fact sheets are sponsored by The Alex Benjamin Norris Memorial Fund.

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