It is a significant challenge for families to afford reliable, quality child care. Child Care Works makes it possible for low-income families to find reliable, quality child care near their home or work and provides financial assistance to help them afford it.

Through the Child Care Works partnership, eligible families make a co-payment to the child care program in addition to the state subsidy that Child Care Works provides. More than 200,000 children and their families receive Child Care Works subsidy each year. By accepting children receiving Child Care Works subsidy, child care programs can provide quality early learning services to at-risk children in their communities.

Your early learning program’s profile in COMPASS will market that you accept families receiving Child Care. Works subsidy. Your program may also be included in the referral lists that Early Learning Resource Centers provide to prospective families.

Child care programs that enroll children receiving Child Care Works subsidy may be eligible for Keystone STARS subsidy add-on and additional Keystone STARS grants and awards. The higher your STAR level, the greater your subsidy add-on. A STAR 4 program, for example, can earn an additional $2,000 a year for each infant and toddler through the STARS subsidy add-on.


Child care programs must be certified by the Department of Human Services. Relative caregivers must have completed CareCheck and federal criminal history clearance.


Programs may contact their local Early Learning Resource Center (ELRC) or apply online through PELICAN Provider Self-Service.

Child care programs and relative caregivers must sign and comply with an agreement with their Early Learning Resource Center (ELRC) in order to receive Child Care Works subsidy.

Families wanting to apply for subsidized child care should visit or contact their local ELRC to apply for Child Care Works and find child care programs near you.