Subsidized Child Care

About the Program

Early Learning Resource Center (ELRC) Region 17 administers the Child Care Works subsidized child care program which helps low-income families pay for a portion of their child care expenses. If you meet the guidelines:

  • ELRC Region 17 will pay a part of your child care cost. This is called a subsidy payment.
  • You will pay a part of the cost. This is called the family co-payment.
  • The subsidy payment and the family co-payment go directly to the child care program.

NOTE: If your child care subsidy does not pay the full amount that your child care program charges, the provider may ask you to pay the difference between the subsidy payment and their private charges.


You must first submit an application to ELRC Region 17 to see if you meet the guidelines for the subsidized child care program. An application along with supporting documentation may be printed by following the links at the bottom of this page, you may call ELRC Region 17 to have an application mailed, faxed or emailed to you or you may apply online through Pennsylvania’s COMPASS website. The following are the basic guidelines:

  • You must live in Pennsylvania
  • Have a child or children who need child care while you work or attend an education program
  • Meet income guidelines for your family size
  • Work 20 or more hours a week - or -
  • Work 10 hours and go to school for 10 hours a week
  • Have a promise of a job that will start within 30 days of your application for subsidized child care
  • Teen parents must attend an education program
  • The child who needs care must be a citizen of the United States or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residency
  • Have proof of identification for each parent or caretaker in the home.

Income Guidelines

The annual income for a family to be eligible to receive subsidy if 200% or less of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines (FPIG):

Family SizeMaximum Gross Yearly Family Income

 Effective 5/1/2023
 The above information provides only general guidelines. Other conditions may apply. Please contact Early Learning Resource Center Region 17 if you have further questions about potential eligibility.

Additional Guidelines 

  • Each adult family member must 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.
  • The hours that a child may receive subsidized child care must coincide with hours of work, education, or training.
  • Children are eligible for care from birth until the day prior to the date of the child's 13th birthday. Children with disabilities may be eligible through age 18.
  • The parent is responsible to help pay for child care. This is called co-payment. The co-payment may be as little as $5.00 per week and varies according to your income and the number of people in your family.
  • If funding is not available at the time that a low-income, working parent applies for subsidized child care, the child may be placed on a waiting list.
  • The parent may choose the provider of his or her choice. The parent may choose a child care center, a family day care home, a group day care home or even a relative to care for his or her child. A relative provider is defined as the child’s grandparent, great-grandparent, aunt, uncle or sibling over 18 years old residing in a separate household.