Making ends meet

Daycare/ child care/early learning programs can cost a lot, sometimes even as much as rent or your mortgage! When you have young children, every penny counts. The more pennies you can save, the more you can spend on a quality program.

Pennsylvania offers a number of child care/ early learning programs that are free to eligible families. There are also programs that can help pay for child care or preschool, as well as other household expenses and tips on stretching your budget. Here are some resources that can help you make ends meet. If you know of others that we can share, please email us!

  • Financial help for Child care/early learning programs
  • Food programs
  • Other resources
  • Check out the Early Learning GPS to search for other local resources like free parenting/ adult education classes, food pantries, and other assistance. Create a free family account and map for your child and click on “Search/Saved Resources.” Click on the search icon in the upper right corner to search for resources by keyword or county. You can also go to the lower right of the home page and click “Search Local Resources.”
  • Andrew says:

    I’m moving from New Jersey to Pennsylvania in a few weeks. I have 5 yr old twin girls who started in the head start problem and are currently in Pre School here in NJ. No one pays for preschool here in NJ because its a public school. But I see that I would need to pay for both of them to go into Pre School in PA. My question is, is it mandatory for your child to be in Preschool or can I just wait until September to put them into Kindergarten since I dont have the extra $600/mo to put them both in preschool and I wouldnt qualify for this because I make to much. I appreciate any reply. THANKS

    • Mary says:

      Hello, Andrew and welcome to Pennsylvania. Although there are several preschool options for families in PA, preschool is not mandatory. There are many children that enter kindergarten without ever having attended preschool. You would just need to make sure your girls meet the birth date/age requirements of the school. (Typically, it is 5 years old by September 1, but you should contact the school to find out what those are, as some schools may differ.) You can also find Kindergarten registration information on the PA’s Promise for Children website.

      If you are interested in exploring options for preschool, your family may be eligible for PA Pre-K Counts or Head Start. To find a location near you, visit There are also child care programs which have preschool options.

  • One of the best things about Children of America is that we work with parents. We want to find the perfect financial or time balance so your child is set up for success. Visit to find a COA near you

  • Christy says:

    wondering if there are option s for people who do not qualify for ccis for assistance with childcare age 1

    • Mary P. Hall says:

      Some child care providers may have scholarships available, while others may be able to adjust their fees. Unfortunately, that information is not collected by PA’s Promise for Children and you’d need to contact the individual child care provider.

  • Jamie K. says:

    I am looking for information on any programs I may be eligible for to help cover costs of enrolling my Twin 4 year old Boys in Preschool to prepare for Kindergarten. I would like to put them in a program in September but I am having trouble finding a place that is affordable.

    Thank you!

    • Mary Hall says:

      Hi, Jamie. It’s great to hear that you’re thinking about enrolling your boys in preschool to help them prepare for Kindergarten! PA’s Promise for Children has information about preschool programs and ways to help pay for that. A great place to begin is on the Child Care Assistance page where you can find information about Child Care Works, Child Care scholarships, and free pre-kindergarten programs, like Head Start and PA Pre-K Counts.

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