Child care for eligible low-income families

Child Care Voucher | NYC Administration for Children's Services (ACS)

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Child care vouchers help cover the cost of child care for children 6 weeks to 13 years old. Children with disabilities up to 18 years old are also covered. There are hundreds of home-based and center-based providers that accept child care vouchers across NYC, who offer child care services in safe and positive learning environments.

  • Child care vouchers are a government regulated and funded resource to help eligible low-income families with child care costs.
  • Child care programs offer a safe and positive learning environment for your child while you work or attend school.
  • In child care programs, children can play, discover, learn, and build positive relationships with other children.
  • In addition to licensed/regulated providers, you can use child care vouchers with approved informal providers, such as relatives, neighbors, or friends.
  • Eligibility is based on your family’s income, size, and other needs.
  • Services are available for children with disabilities.
  • Parents are not required to be US citizens; however, the child receiving care must be a US citizen, a US national, or person with satisfactory immigration status.
  • Most families are required to pay a fee based on income and family size. Those who are exempt from the family fee are:
    • families on cash assistance
    • families experiencing homelessness
    • foster care parents
  • Voucher availability is dependent upon funding.

Who is eligible

Child care voucher programs have income and other eligibility requirements.

If you qualify, your child care tuition at participating day care sites can be fully or partially paid. Your child can begin a program any time during the year.


What you need to apply

Due to high demand, eligible families who request vouchers will be placed on a waitlist at this time. You don’t need documents to sign up for the Child Care Voucher Waitlist.

For families experiencing homelessness, visit the Application Submission Checklist for a list of required documents when applying for the Child Care subsidy application.


How to apply

To express your interest in applying for a voucher, complete the Child Care Contact Link.

  • ACS is currently reaching out to families who previously applied to be on the voucher waitlist.
  • Once all of those families have been contacted, ACS will contact you with information about how to apply for child care. This may take several months.
  • While waiting, consider other options like EarlyLearn programs to meet immediate child care needs.

Special Referrals

  • If your family is applying for or receiving cash assistance, you must apply for child care through the Human Resources Administration (HRA) Job Center.
  • If your family has an active child welfare case (such as receiving prevention and/or child protective services), you must contact your case planner or Child Protective Specialist to get a Child Care subsidy referral.
  • If you are an employed foster parent, you must contact your agency case planner to get a Child Care subsidy referral.
  • Families experiencing homelessness who are found eligible for child care assistance are prioritized for child care vouchers.

All families, including families who may need one of these referrals, can contact the ACS Child and Family Well-Being Call Center at 212-835-7610 or call 311 to get help with finding a program and completing the Child Care subsidy application.


How to get help

Other Child Care Programs

NYS Paid Family Leave (PFL)

NYS Workers' Compensation Board (NYS WCB)

Paid time off to care for family

Up to 12 weeks of paid time off to care for a new child, sick family member, and other situations.

NYC Child Care Connect (NYC CCC)

Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH)

Find a licensed child care program

An online resource that helps you find and stay informed about a child care program in your community.

EarlyLearn

NYC Department of Education (DOE)

Free or low-cost child care for children six weeks to two years old

Early child care and education services for up to 10 hours a day.

Updated May 5, 2022