State Child Care Assistance Programs (UPDATED)


Child care can be expensive. The average fee for full-time care ranges from approximately $4,800 to $17,000 a year, depending on where the family lives, the type of care, and the age of the child.

The average cost of full-time infant care is most expensive in Massachusetts and least expensive in Mississippi.

These costs far exceed what a mother working full-time at the minimum wage typically can afford on her own.

Child care assistance programs — also known as child care subsidies, help eligible families with children younger than 13 pay for child care.

In cases in which health or other disabilities exist, older children may also be eligible for the program.

The program pays for part of the daycare costs, while parents co-pay for a portion based on the size of the family and the amount of their income.

The list below highlights Child Care Subsidy Program offered in each of the 50 states, from Alabama to Wyoming — each with its own eligibility guidelines and application process.



Alabama


Alabama CCAP is the state subsidy program targeted at low-income Alabama families who need help paying for child care. It provides assistance with payment for child care on a sliding fee basis for eligible parents.

Depending on the county you live in, you will need to meet the work requirements and have a child under the age of 13. Some exceptions can be made for those that are disabled.

If you think you’re income eligible, you must download and complete the Child Care Assistance Application form and mail it to your local Child Care Management Agency.1


Alaska


Child care assistance in Alaska is known as “Parents Achieving Self Sufficiency” ( PASS ) and is divided into three categories: PASS I, PASS II, and PASS III.

The PASS I program provides child care assistance for families receiving benefits under the Alaska Temporary Assistance Program. Unlike the other two, PASS I does not require you to contribute toward your child care costs.

PASS II is for those who are transitioning from the Alaska TAP and PASS III is for families who are not eligible for, or who have never received, PASS I or PASS II.


If you are already receiving ATAP benefits, contact your case manager or DPA case worker for more information on how to apply for PASS I child care assistance.

Eligibility for PASS II/III child care assistance, on the other hand, is not automatic! You must complete and submit an application to a local Child Care Assistance office.2


Arizona


Child care assistance is available to eligible Arizona families with children 12 years of age or younger. Among other requirements, applicants must meet income criteria and are required to pay a portion of the child care costs.

To apply for assistance, you may contact your local DES Child Care office to schedule an appointment and fill out an application. Referrals are also available on-line.3

Due to limited funding, a statewide waiting list may be implemented to prioritize eligible families waiting to receive child care assistance. As of 2014, there were 6,445 children on the waiting list.


Arkansas


Arkansas CCAP is the state subsidy program targeted at low-income families who need help paying for child care. It provides assistance with payment for child care on a sliding fee basis for eligible parents.

As a condition of eligibility, you will need to meet the work requirements — at least 30 hour per week, and have a child under the age of 13. Some exceptions can be made for those that are disabled.

In order to apply for assistance, contact one of the Program Eligibility Specialists in your county at 1-800-322-8176 and request an application.


California


The Child Care Resource Center (CCRC) in California offers several financial assistance, or subsidy, programs to qualifying families who need help paying for child care.

Families that qualify for the program can choose their own child care provider. The CCRC will reimburse child care providers up to a certain amount.

Here is a complete list of all the available programs (click here) — each with its own set of eligibility criteria. For more information, please contact CCRC at (818) 717-1000.


Colorado


Colorado CCAP is available for children under age 13 or up to age 18 for children with special needs whose parent is employed or enrolled in the Colorado Works Program.

CCCAP serves families earning less than 130% or less of the federal poverty guideline and may not serve those with income of over 85% of the State Median Income.

Once accepted into the program, you are expected to contribute a portion of your child care costs based on the size of the family, the amount of your income, and the number of children in care.


Connecticut


Care 4 Kids helps low to moderate income families in Connecticut pay for child care costs. Since it is a subsidy, you may be expected to pay for some of the child care costs — known as Family Fee.

Eligibility is based on household income and family size. Families with incomes not exceeding 50% of the state median income level or about $2,900 for household of two are eligible for assistance.

Start by filling out a Care 4 Kids Application and mail it to

Care 4 Kids
1344 Silas Deane Highway
Rocky Hill, CT 06067
1-888-214-KIDS (5437)


Delaware


Delaware Child Care Subsidy Program provides childcare subsidy for income-eligible families who need help paying for child care. Priority will be given to families who are receiving Temporary Assistance (TANF).

Families that qualify for the subsidy program can choose their own child care provider. The state pays a portion of the cost of child care; while the parent is responsible to pay a co-payment to the provider each month.

To request an application or for more information contact

Delaware Opportunities Child Care Subsidy Program
35430 State Hwy. 10
Hamden, NY 13782
1-877-746-2279


District of Columbia


The District of Columbia operates a federally-funded child care assistance program that helps eligible families pay for child care. It provides assistance with payment for child care on a sliding fee basis.

The amount varies based on the your gross monthly income, family size, and type and cost of care AND since it is a subsidy, you may be required to pay for some of the child care costs.

If you’re applying for the first time, you must visit to the Child Care Services Division in person (Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday between 8:15 am – 3:30 pm).

Child Care Services Division
4001 South Capitol Street SW
Washington, DC 20032
(202) 727-0284

As slots are limited, walk-in visits for new applicants are on a “first come, first serve” basis.


Florida


Families in Florida who are trying to work or get training to work may be eligible for financial assistance through School Readiness Program. These services range from extended day to extended year, and school age care for children.

Depending on the family income, you will pay a fee for each child for whom you receive financial assistance. The co-payment is based on family income and family size and is paid directly to the child care provider.

To learn about eligibility criteria and find out more, contact your county’s early learning coalition. You can also call the Child Care Resource and Referral Network at 1-866-357-3239.


Georgia


Subsidized child care in Georgia is provided through the Childcare and Parent Services (CAPS) program to help low income families afford quality child care. The CAPS program is administered in all 159 Georgia counties through the county Department of Family and Children Services.

Families that qualify for the CAPS program can choose their own child care provider. The CAPS program will reimburse child care providers up to a certain amount.

Georgians are now able to check their potential eligibility and apply for child care online with Georgia COMPASS — the only authorized website to apply for public assistance benefits in Georgia.


Hawaii


The Child Care Connection Hawaii (CCCH) provides childcare subsidy for eligible families who meet the income eligibility requirements. In general, the family’s income may not exceed 85% of the State Median Income for the family size.

The subsidy amount varies based on the your gross monthly income, family size, and type and cost of care AND
since it is a subsidy, you may be required to pay for some of the child care costs.

The Preschool Open Doors (POD) program is a separate subsidy program for eligible families with children in the year prior to kindergarten entry. However, funding for POD is limited.


Idaho


The Idaho Child Care Program (ICCP) provides child care assistance to low-income, working families by paying for a portion of child care, and parents co-pay for the remaining cost.

Eligibility is based on household income and family size. Priority is given to families already receiving Temporary Assistance for Families in Idaho (TAFI).

Call the 2-1-1 Idaho CareLine by dialing 2-1-1 or 1-877-456-1233 and ask for assistance on how to sign up for the ICCP program.


Illinois


Administered by Illinois Department of Human Services, the Child Care Assistance Program helps pay for child care expenses for income-eligible working families in Illinois.

Families are required to cost-share on a sliding scale based on family size, income, and number of children in care. You may use the eligibility calculator to see if you qualify and to determine your co-pay.

To apply for CCAP, you must complete and submit a Child Care Application (form 3455) to your local CCR&R or child care agency along with other documentation.4


Indiana


The purpose of the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) is to provide financial assistance with child care costs to eligible working families. Eligibility for the subsidy is based on income level and family size.5

Families who qualify will receive a voucher from the local department of social services to take to the CCDF-approved provider of their choice.

To apply for the program, you must contact your local Intake Agent in the county in which you live. If you need help locating a CCDF eligible provider, call 1-800-299-1627


Iowa


Child Care Assistance (CCA) is available to children of income-eligible parents who are employed or participate in academic or vocational training or PROMISE JOBS activities.

To be considered for Child Care Assistance, you must qualify for Family Investment Program (FIP) and be responsible for a child who is under the age of 13.

You can apply for the Child Care Assistance (CCA) program on-line at Iowa’s Family Portal where you can apply, access forms and rules, and search for a child care provider.


Kansas


The Kansas Child Care Subsidy Program provides subsidy for income-eligible Kansas families who need help paying for child care. Funding is limited and there is often a waiting list in place.

The subsidy amount varies based on the your gross monthly income, family size, and type and cost of care AND
since it is a subsidy, you may be required to pay for some of the child care costs.

Pick up an application at any DCF Office in your town or county to enroll6 or for your convenience, you may apply online at Kansas’ Department for Children & Families. For more information, call 1-888-369-4777.


Kentucky


CCAP helps low-income families pay for child care while working or attending school or training or participate in K-TAP activities. It provides assistance with payment for child care on a sliding fee basis for eligible parents/guardians.

CCAP in Kentucky is available for children under age 13 or up to age 18 for children with special needs whose parent is employed or enrolled in a training program for an average of 20 hours per week.

The program pays for part of the child care costs, and you co-pay for a portion based on the size of the family, the amount of your income, and the number of children in care.


Louisiana


The Louisiana CCAP helps low-income families pay for child care while working or attending school or training. The program helps pay for child care for children under age 13 or up to age 18 for children with special needs.

CCAP pays for part of the child care costs, and you co-pay for a portion based on the size of the family, the amount of your income, and the number of children in care.

In Louisiana, a single mother of two earning $2,545 per month may be eligible for child care assistance. Call 1-888-524-3578 for assistance.


Maine


Maine Child Care Subsidy Program (also known as the Voucher Program) provides childcare subsidy for income-eligible Maine families who need help paying for child care.

The subsidy amount varies based on the your gross monthly income, family size, and type and cost of care AND
since it is a subsidy, you may be required to pay for some of the child care costs.

In general, families with gross family income at or below 250% of the federal poverty level or 85% of the State Median Income (SMI) are eligible to apply for subsidy.


Maryland


The purpose of the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) Program is to provide financial assistance with child care costs to eligible working families. Eligibility for the subsidy is based on income level and family size.

Eligible families receive a voucher from the local department of social services to take to the provider of their choice. The subsidy is paid bi-weekly directly to the provider and the remaining cost is co-paid by the recipient.

Download and sign the application form and send it to the local department of social services near you7 along with proof of wages and child support payments if you’re a single mother.


Massachusetts


In Massachusetts, child care assistance is provided through DTA Child Care that provides free or low-cost child care for TAFDC families.

Current TAFDC recipients who qualify get first priority for child care. While former TAFDC recipients get child care right away, but may have to pay a fee based on income and family size.

You must apply at your local Department of Transitional Assistance office. Talk to your TAFDC case worker or call 1-800-249-2007 for more information on how to apply.


Low-income non-TAFDC working families who need help paying for child care may apply for Income-eligible Child Care. This program is limited to families with incomes not exceeding 50% of the state median income (SMI).

To apply, call your local child care resource and referral agency (CCR&R) or call Mass 211 (dial 2-1-1) to have your name put on a statewide centralized waiting list.


Michigan


The Child Development and Care (CDC) Program in Michigan offers payment assistance for child care services for low-income families who need help paying for child care.

Eligible families that qualify for the CDC program can choose their own child care provider. The state pays a portion of the cost of child care; while the parent is responsible to pay a co-payment to the provider each month.

Use the following Income Eligibility Chart to determine if you may be income eligible. If you think you’re eligible for assistance, you may apply online through MI Bridges.


Minnesota


The Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) helps parents with lower incomes pay for child care. Priority is given to families on MFIP — Minnesota’s welfare program.

Families that qualify for the CCAP can choose their own child care provider. Since it’s a subsidy, the county that you live in pays part of the cost of your child care and you have to pay a co-payment to the provider each month.

Generally families with very low incomes do not have a co-pay. Others may pay between $10 and a few hundred dollars each month depending on their income and family size.

In some counties, there is often a waiting list in place so it is best to apply as soon as possible to get on the list. To find out if your county has a waiting list, click here.


Mississippi


The Child Care Certificate Program is a federally funded program designed to provide parents with assistance with child care tuition. Parents may choose any type of child care while participating in this program.

Parents who meet the income and work requirement will be responsible for paying their child care provider a monthly co-payment fee. For more information, call 1-800-877-7882.

Beginning January 2014, paper application will no longer be accepted. Families interested in applying for the Child Care Certificate Program must complete the online application along with other relevant documents.


Missouri


The Missouri CCAP provides assistance with payment for child care on a sliding fee basis for eligible parents. The purpose of is to enable families to gain employment and remain employed.

The program pays for part of the child care costs, and you co-pay for a portion based on the size of the family, the amount of your income, and the number of children in care.

Funding is limited and there is often a waiting list in place. To check your eligibility, you may contact your local Family Support Division (FSD) office.8


Montana


The Early Childhood Services Bureau offers “Best Beginnings Child Care Scholarships” to qualified low-income families in Montana. Everyone that participates pays a co-payment based on a sliding fee scale.

Scholarships are available to working families whose income is at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines; who are also recipients of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.


Nebraska


The Child Care Subsidy Program help low-income families pay for the child care while they work, attend school, or both. Eligibility is based on the family’s gross income and household size.

The program helps pay for child care for children under age 13 (or up to age 18 for children with special needs) if the monthly income for a family of two is no more than $1,600.

Families who are no longer income eligible for Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) may qualify for up to 24 months of “subsidized” childcare.


Nevada


The CCDF Child Care Program assists low-income families, families receiving Nevada’s TANF and those transitioning from public assistance in obtaining child care so they can work and earn a living.

The program subsidizes providers who care for children. The remaining cost of child care is covered by the families’ co-payments on a sliding fee basis.

Families with incomes of 75% or less of the state median income (SMI) are eligible for subsidized child care with priority given to children from TANF families.


New Hampshire


New Hampshire provides financial assistance for income-eligible New Hampshire families who need help paying for child care. This assistance is known as NH Child Care Scholarship.

Families who receive Financial Assistance to Needy Families (FANF) and are in the FANF work program are given priority and will not be placed on the wait list.

To apply for a NH Child Care Scholarship, go to NH EASY or call one of the Family Services Specialists (FSS) at 1-800-852-3345.


New Jersey


NJ Cares for Kids provides subsidized childcare voucher payments for working families and full time students who meet the guidelines mandated by the state of New Jersey.

This childcare subsidy will assist you to pay for childcare for infants, toddlers, preschool-age children, school-age children up to age 13, and for children with special needs up to age 19.

To be eligible, you must meet the strict income requirement and be employed full time for a minimum of 30 hours per week or be enrolled in a school/training program for a minimum of 20 hours per week.


New Mexico


New Mexico CCAP provides childcare assitance for eligible families who meet the income eligibility requirements. In general, it covers families with income not exceeding 150% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).

The subsidy amount varies based on the your gross monthly income, family size, and type and cost of care AND
since it is a subsidy, you may be required to pay for some of the child care costs.

For more information on Child Care Assistance, contact your regional CCA office, or call Jolyne Vigil at (505) 827-7499 or 1-800-832-1321.


Due to state budget shortfalls, there is a waiting list in place for all families with an income between 100% and 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).


New York


The Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) provides free or low cost child care to eligible families living in New York City. Fees for child care services, if any, are based on a sliding scale.

Eligibility is based on family’s income and reasons for needing child care. In general, families with incomes below 200% of the State Income Standard (SIS) or about $39,580 for a family of three may qualify for assistance.

Find out if you qualify for subsidized child care.

If you’re interested in subsidized child care, you should apply by contacting ACS-funded programs in your area. Go to 311 Online to search for ACS-funded child care programs near you.


North Carolina


North Carolina’s Subsidized Child Care Program provides child care assistance for income-eligible families who need help paying for child care through a voucher program.

Most families, including those receiving Work First Family Assistance, are required to pay a percentage of their child care costs based upon their gross monthly income — usually no more than 10%, if applicable.

Funding for this program is limited, parents requesting financial assistance for child care are often placed on a waiting list until more funding becomes available.


North Dakota


North Dakota CCAP is the state subsidy program targeted at low-income families who need help paying for child care. It provides assistance with payment for child care on a sliding fee basis for eligible parents.

Most families pay a co-payment, which is the amount you are required to pay towards the costs of child care — this sliding fee chart shows what the co-payment would be based on your income and household size.

For more information on the N.D. Child Care Assistance Program, contact the N.D. Department of Human Services’ Economic Assistance Policy Division at 1-800-755-2716.


Ohio


Ohio CCAP is the state subsidy program targeted at low-income families who need help paying for child care. It provides assistance with payment for child care on a sliding fee basis for eligible parents.

CCAP is available for children under age 13 whose parent is employed or enrolled in OHIO WORKS FIRST program. Some exceptions can be made for those that are disabled.

The program pays for part of the child care costs, and you co-pay for a portion based on your income, family size and the number of children in care.


Oklahoma


CCAP in Oklahoma is available for children under age 13 or up to age 18 for children with special needs whose parent is either employed or enrolled in school.

Families earning approximately $2,425/month or less with one child in care, and $3,625/month with three or more children in care may qualify for assistance.

The program pays for part of the child care costs, and you co-pay for a portion based on the size of the family, the amount of your income, and the number of children in care.9


Oregon


Working families whose income is below 185% of the Federal Poverty Level may be eligible for financial help with child care costs. This child care subsidy program is called Employment Related Day Care (ERDC).

This Child Care Copay Calculation tool helps you figure out your eligibility for the subsidy, and if so, how much of the child care bill (the copay) you would be responsible for paying.

ERDC helps parents stay employed, and children well cared-for in stable child care arrangements. Call 1-800-342-6712 for more info about the application process in your area.


Student parents who demonstrate financial need may be eligible for assistance to pay for child care costs through the Oregon Student Assistance Commission.

For more information on Student Child Care Program, contact

Peggy Cooksey, Grants Administrator
OSAC Grant Programs
1-800-452-8807 ext. 7443


Pennsylvania


Subsidized child care in Pennsylvania is provided through the Child Care Works program that helps low income families afford quality child care. Families with incomes up to 200% of federal poverty level or about $39,600 for a single mother of two, may qualify for child care subsidy.

As a condition of eligibility, participants are required to work at least 20 hours a week or work at least 10 hours a week and participate in an approved training program at least 10 hours a week.

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.


Rhode Island


CCAP helps eligible working families in Rhode Island pay for child care. It is available to families with earnings up to 180% of the federal poverty level10 and also to participants of RI Works program.

Depending on their family size, income level, and number of children, families may be required to pay a co-payment — usually no more than 8% of their income.

For additional details or an application for the Child Care Assistance Program, please call the Department of Human Services Info Line at (401) 462-5300.


South Carolina


Subsidized child care in South Carolina is provided through the SC Voucher Program that helps low income families afford quality child care. Families who have children with special needs may also apply.

Eligible families can choose their own child care provider. The program will reimburse child care providers up to a certain amount based on their quality level.

If you are already on welfare, otherwise known as the Family Independence in South Carolina, contact your local DSS office at 1-800-476-0199.


South Dakota


South Dakota CCAP helps low-income families pay for the child care while they work, attend school, or both. Eligibility is based on the family’s gross income and household size.

The program helps pay for child care for children under age 13 (or up to age 18 for children with special needs) if the family’s income is less than 175% of the Federal Poverty Level.

Click here to apply online for CCAP

or fill out the application and mail it to:

South Dakota Department of Social Services
Division of Child Care Services
910 East Sioux Ave.
Pierre, SD 57501


Tennessee


Parents participating in the Families First program who need help paying for child care may receive financial assistance with the full cost of child care. No co-pay is required.

Eligibility is based on Families First income guidelines. In general, parents whose incomes not exceeding 185% of the federal poverty level may qualify.


Teen Child Care Assistance. This program is for eligible high school or middle school mothers. In order to receive child care assistance, these young mothers must stay in school. Parents must pay a co-pay fee based on a sliding income scale. For information, call 1-866-827-3372.


Texas


Parents in Texas who work, attend school or participate in job training may be eligible for financial assistance to pay for the cost of child care.

Eligibility criteria may vary in different regions of the state but generally, families with incomes not exceeding 85% of the state median income will qualify.

Depending on what part of the state you live in, there may be other programs to assist with child care costs. Call the Texas Information and Referral Network (dial 2-1-1) to find out more.


Utah


The Payment-to-Parent Assisted Child Care Program is a federal and state funded program that provides financial assistance to both single and two-parent families in Utah who meet eligibility requirements. Parents receiving child care subsidy must be employed or enrolled in a training program.

The amount of child care assistance is determined based on several factors and often do not cover the entire cost of a provider. Utah currently pays up to 75% of average childcare costs.


Vermont


Child care financial assistance (also known as child care subsidy) is a program that helps eligible families with the cost of child care. The subsidy is paid directly to a qualified child care provider and the recipient pays the remaining cost.

You can use the Subsidy Prescreening Tool on the Agency of Human Services, Division for Children and Family website to see if you might qualify for child care benefits.


Virginia


The Child Care Subsidy Program provides financial assistance to the neediest families in Virginia to help pay for the cost of child care so they can work or attend education or training programs.

Recipients of TANF are considered income eligible for child care subsidy. Because funding is limited, you may be placed on a waiting list.

To screen for eligibility or apply online, visit CommonHelp — the official website to apply for public assistance in Virginia such as Medicaid, SNAP, TANF, energy and child care assistance.


Washington


Working Connections Child Care (WCCC) helps low-income families in Washington pay for child care while they work or meet WA WorkFirst participation requirements. Eligibility is based on income level and family size.

Families that qualify for the WCCCC program can choose their own child care provider. The state pays a portion of the cost of child care; while the parent is responsible to pay a co-payment to the provider each month.

To find out if your family is eligible, call the DSHS Customer Service Call Center at 1-877-501-2233. After you complete the application process, DSHS will tell you within 30 days if you qualify for assistance.


West Virginia


If you are a West Virginia resident of Kanawha, Clay, Jackson or Roane counties, you meet certain income guidelines and participate in WV Works, you may be eligible for financial aid for child care costs.

The program pays for part of the child care costs and you are responsible for paying the difference. The actual amount is determined according to the family’s monthly gross income and is based on a sliding fee scale.

You must apply for child care assistance in person at any of designated location near you or call 1-888-595-8290 for more information.


Wisconsin


Wisconsin’s Child Care Subsidy program — known as Wisconsin Shares, helps low-income working families pay for child care. If the parent is eligible, child care can be subsidized for children under the age of 13 (up to 19 if special needs).

The program pays for part of the child care costs, and the remaining cost is co-paid by the parent. The co-payment can be as low as 2% of the family’s gross income.

You may apply online at access.wisconsin.gov or apply in person at any W-2 agency near you. Either way, you’ll have to go through a phone interview to determine your eligibility.


Wyoming


The Child Care Subsidy Program helps low income Wyoming’s families pay for the cost of care while working or in school. Eligibility is based on the family’s gross income and household size.

The subsidy amount varies based on the your gross monthly income, family size, and type and cost of care AND
since it is a subsidy, you may be required to pay for some of the child care costs.

If you’re applying for the first time, contact the DFS office in your county and request an application or schedule an interview with DFS eligibility officer.


  1. Please click on the region you desire to obtain information about the appropriate Child Care Management Agency. []
  2. Child Care Assistance Offices []
  3. Simply choose the county or city in Arizona where you need care []
  4. Find your local CCR&R or call 1-877-202-4453 (toll-free) []
  5. Income Eligibility & Fee Schedule effective 4/20/14 []
  6. DCF Office Locator []
  7. The contact information for the Local Departments of Social Services may be found on here. []
  8. Missouri’s Family Support Division Offices []
  9. Oklahoma DHS, Child Care Eligibility/Co-payment Chart []
  10. Under the Transitional Child Care Pilot Program, families are allowed to maintain their eligibility as their income increases up to 225% FPL. The Transitional Child Care Pilot Program is currently set to expire on September 30, 2016. []