Finding Quality Child Care

Early Learning Resource Center (ELRC) Region 17 is available to help families locate child care facilities, make positive choices through the provision of material and counseling and access additional resources throughout the community. Using a statewide database that contains regulated child care centers and home-based child care providers, a resource referral specialist can help a family find services that will meet their needs, such as:

  • Full-time child care
  • Before and after school care
  • Summer camp programs
  • Accredited pre-school
  • Transportation services
  • Part-time child care
  • Evening and weekend care
  • Holiday and drop-in care
  • Behavioral and emotional support
  • Homework and tutoring support

Types of childcare settings

  • Day Care Centers - Licensed by the Department of Human Services (DHS) with a maximum number of children based on state regulations. Classroom ratio varies by age
  • Group Child Care Homes - DHS-licensed with maximum of 12 children with at least two caregivers
  • Family Child Care Homes - DHS-registered with maximum of six children
  • Relative Provider - Unlicensed by DHS, must comply with health and safety standards outlined in the agreement of participating in the subsidized child care program

ÛRelatives are required to complete CareCheck, a program that requires State Police criminal history and child abuse background clearances. In addition, relatives must obtain Federal criminal history clearances and complete an online child abuse recognition course. Relatives are defined as a child’s grandparent, great-grandparent, aunt, uncle or sibling, over the age of 18, not residing in the same household. Relatives must provide the child care in their own home, not in the child’s home. To find out more about background clearances, call the Child Care Works helpline at 1-877-4-PA-KIDS (1-877-472-5437).

Obtain a list of and information on child care facilities

You may contact Early Learning Resource Center (ELRC) Region 17 for Resource and Referral services. We can assist you in finding a facility that meets your needs. You can also find a listing of regulated child care providers through the COMPASS 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 Southeast Regional Child Development Office at 1-800-346-2929 or review a facility’s history online.

Our goal is to supply up-to-date information. We do not guarantee or express opinions as to the provider’s qualifications or capabilities. In offering the provider referrals, we give you options that best suit your needs, not recommendations. The information presented in the provider profile is entered and maintained by the child care providers themselves, not by ELRC Region 17.

Ensure your child's safety

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.

Make a complaint or reporting a facility that is operating illegally without a DHS license

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.