Child care for babies & toddlers

EarlyLearn NYC Child Care | NYC Department of Education

Child Care Baby Toddler Pre-Schooler

Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, some programs are limiting services or offering them over the phone. For the most up-to-date information, please contact programs directly using the information below. To learn more about support for COVID-19 impacts, visit our Coronavirus Updates page

EarlyLearn NYC is free or low-cost child care and education for children six weeks to four years old. There are hundreds of locations across NYC offering services in safe and positive learning environments.

  • EarlyLearn NYC is available for families who qualify for free or low-cost care
  • Services are available for children with special needs
  • Children can play, learn, and build skills to prepare for kindergarten and beyond
  • Eligibility is based on your family's income, size, and needs
  • Families who do not get Cash Assistance or are not in foster care or homeless will need to pay a family share based on income


EarlyLearn programs have income and other eligibility requirements. If you qualify, your child can begin a program any time during the year.

With a few questions, we can help you find out if you may be eligible.

What will I need to apply?

To apply for EarlyLearn NYC Child Care, you will need to prove the following:

  • Where you live: such as a driver’s license, IDNYC, or utility bill
  • Your income (reason for care documents):
    • If employed: pay stubs and/or CS 1069
    • If self-employed: current income tax documents, notarized statement/accountant statement
    • If attending educational or vocational training: ACD 1082
    • If receiving SSI, Worker’s Compensation, Unemployment Benefits, etc.: proof of income documentation
  • Your citizenship or immigration status: US birth certificate (for children under 18 who live with you), Registration Card (if the child was not born in the US)


  • Use the EarlyLearn NYC program finder and choose a provider.
  • Download the application, visit the program of your choice to pick one up, or call 311 and request one be mailed to you.
  • Complete the application and submit it with required the documents to the EarlyLearn NYC Child Care program site of your choice.
  • If your child is approved for a seat in an EarlyLearn NYC center, ACS and the program will contact you about when your child can start attending. If your child is eligible, but the program has no vacancies, you may be placed on a waiting list.
  • If you are receiving benefits from the Human Resources Administration (HRA) and would like to enroll in an EarlyLearn NYC program, visit your assigned Job Center.


To help stop the spread of coronavirus, Family Welcome Center buildings are temporarily closed, but staff members are working remotely to support families. You can email your questions about enrollment, offer information, waitlists, and more to:

Staff are aiming to respond to all email requests within 48 hours by email.

Other Child Care Programs

Head start for 3 & 4 year olds

EarlyLearn NYC Head Start

NYC Department of Education

Eight hours a day of free early care and education for three and four year olds

Early childhood education and support services

Living for the Young Family Through Education (LYFE)

NYC Department of Education/District 79

Student parents can get free early childhood education for their children ages 6 weeks to 4 years.

Child care in Brooklyn


NYC Department of Education

Daycare for young children in Brooklyn and help for their families.

Updated March 31, 2020