While most school buildings are closed this fall, many children need safe, supervised places to learn while their caregivers go to work. For families who can’t afford the full cost of childcare, the following options are available:

Subsidized childcare

There are thousands of childcare openings for school-age children in Philadelphia, at private centers throughout the city. In light of current school closures, the state’s Child Care Works subsidy program will now help families pay for full-day childcare during the week for school-age children. With the subsidy, families pay a co-pay for childcare and the state program will cover the rest. 

Families must meet certain requirements in order to be eligible for the subsidy. All requirements are listed here.

In Philadelphia, the  Early Learning Resource Center (ELRC) manages the Child Care Works subsidy program locally. Here are three ways you can apply: 

  • Contact the ELRC directly. Call 1 888-461-KIDS (5437) and an ELRC specialist will assist you.
  • Apply online. To apply for subsidized child care online, please visit the state’s Compass website.
  • Download the application: You may also print a subsidized child care application and mail or drop off to your closest ELRC office (listings here). Simply click on this link to download, fill out, and print. Ensure you complete and send all the information requested before mailing. An ELRC representative will contact you upon receipt.

A map of licensed childcare centers with openings for school-age children is available online.

Visit philadelphiaelrc18.org or call 1-888-461-KIDS (5437) for assistance in finding childcare and applying for the subsidy.

Free, quality, pre-K

PHLpreK, the City’s free quality pre-K program, is enrolling for the 2020-2021 school year. Remote learning and in-person options are available. There is still time to enroll. View the list of PHLpreK centers with openings. 

PHLpreK students must live in Philadelphia and be 3 or 4 years old as of September 1, 2020.

Learn more at www.phlprek.org or by calling (844) PHL-PREK.

City Access Centers

The City’s Access Centers have opened to serve Philadelphia’s most vulnerable children while fully-digital learning is in place. Access Centers provide eligible K–6 students with a safe, supervised, and connected environment during the school day. 77 Access Centers will be located at Parks & Recreation, Free Library, and Office of Children and Families Out-of-School time network sites this fall. 

Prior registration is required and site capacity is limited to adhere to health and safety guidelines. Learn more about Access Centers.