Paying for Child Care

What is subsidized child care?

The state and federal governments have made funding available to assist qualifying parents in meeting their child care expenses. In Philadelphia, subsidized child care is available for working families through Child Care Information Services.

Do I qualify for subsidized child care?

Single parents, married couples, and un-married parents living together can all be eligible for subsidized child care. In order to qualify, all parents living in the household must:

– Work at least 20 hours per week or work at least 10 hours per week and go to school/ training at least 10 hours per week
– Receive income within certain guidelines (see below)
– Live in Philadelphia
– If you are a teen parent under the age of 22 attending school/GED program or a parent who has received TANF benefits within the last 183 days, please contact your local CCIS.

Family Size Maximum Yearly Family Income (May 2018 )
2 (single parent with one child) $32,920
3 $41,560
4 $50,200
5 $58,840
6 $67,480
7 $76,120
8 $84,760

*Foster Parents may not have to meet income requirements. Click here for the full chart.

* A live-in companion is only counted in the houshold if he/she is a parent of a child living in the household for whom the subsidy is being sought. If a non-parent is living in the household and is married to the parent, then they also must meet eligibility guidelines.

Apply for Child Care Financial Assistance Online

To apply for financial assistance for child care, please visit the state’s online COMPASS system at

If you think you might be eligible for subsidized child care, please call us at 1-888-461-KIDS(5437)and an Eligibility Specialist will assist you. You may also contact us directly from this web site.

Waiting List

It is important to understand that if you are determined eligible for subsidized child care funding, you may be placed on the CCIS’s waiting list. You will remain on the waiting list until there is available funding to enroll your children.  If a waiting list exists for your local CCIS, it is still important to apply as soon as the need arises. Families are enrolled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Parent Choice

The subsidized child care program allows parents to choose any participating regulated child care program. If you choose a provider that is not currently participating in the CCIS subsidy program, the CCIS will contact that provider to arrange for them to sign up for the program. You can also have a relative – grandparent, great grandparent, aunt/uncle or sibling of the child– care for your child while you are at work or school.There are other requirements for relative providers, such as they cannot live in the same household. Please call your local CCIS for more information.

If you need help finding a child care program suited to your needs, click here.

Parents or caretakers may choose a child care provider for his/her child that best meets their needs. However, CCIS can only give unbiased referrals to child care providers, and cannot not recommend, guarantee, nor is it responsible for, the quality of child care services delivered by the provider.


These income guidelines are not the final consideration for the subsidized child care program, as there are a number of factors that are taken into account when determining your eligibility.

If you believe that you may not be eligible for subsidized child care based on these income guidelines, you should still consider applying. You may be eligible after a final and accurate calculation of your gross income is conducted and any allowable deductions are considered. Contact us for more details.