Office of Children and Family Services

Division of Child Care Services

Resources For Families

Help Paying for Child Care

The Office of Children and Family Services is committed to providing assistance with child care costs to eligible families through the Child Care Subsidy Program. Child care subsidies can help parents/caretakers pay for some or all of the cost of child care services. In general, families are eligible for financial assistance if they meet the state's low income guidelines and need child care to work, look for work, or attend employment training. You are guaranteed child care if you are on Temporary Assistance and need child care in order to meet any work participation requirements. You are also guaranteed assistance in paying for child care for one year after leaving Temporary Assistance if you left Temporary Assistance for a job and need child care to go to work. Your County Department of Social Services (in New York City, the Human Resources Administration and the Administration for Children’s Services) determines family eligibility based on income, reasons for needing day care, and your child's age and individual needs. In most cases, families receiving a child care subsidy can choose any legal child care provider.

Read general information about child care subsidies and find out if you are eligible for assistance.

Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)

CACFP provides aid to child and adult care institutions and family or group day care homes for the provision of nutritious foods that contribute to the wellness, healthy growth, and development of young children, and the health and wellness of older adults and chronically impaired disabled persons. For more information go to the United States Department of Agriculture website at or the New York State Department of Health website at

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

Temporary help for needy men, women, and children. If you are unable to work, can’t find a job, or your job does not pay enough, temporary assistance may be able to help you pay for your expenses.  Families that need information about Temporary Assistance (TA) should visit their local department of social services or go the New York State Office of Temporary Disability Assistance (NYSOTDA) website at

Head Start and Early Head Start Programs

Head Start and Early Head Start are comprehensive child development programs. Head Start serves children ages 3 to 5 and their families.  Early Head Start serves pregnant women and their families and children birth to age 3 and their families.  Families looking for Head Start and Early Head Start Programs should visit the New York State Education Department website at and search for programs by county.

Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)

HEAP is a federally funded program that assists eligible households in meeting their home energy needs. Families can apply on line at

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs (SNAP - formerly known as Food Stamps)

SNAP issues monthly benefits redeemable at authorized retail food stores.  Families can apply for SNAP on line at

Women, Infants, and Children Program (WIC)

WIC helps families pay for formula and other nutritious foods.  Families can check their eligibility for this program on line at

New York State of Health Market Place

You and your family have many new, low cost, quality health insurance options available through the Individual Marketplace. You can quickly compare health plan options and apply for assistance that could lower the cost of your health coverage. You may also qualify for health care coverage from Medicaid or Child Health Plus through the Marketplace. You can check your eligibility on line at

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Early Intervention Program

In New York State, the lead agency for the Early Intervention Program (EIP) is the Department of Health (NYSDOH). Primary referral sources, including health care providers, social service providers, child care providers, providers of EIP services, and a range of professionals involved in caring for young children, are required to refer children at risk for or suspected of having a disability to the EIP, unless the parent objects to a referral. For children at risk, the EIP coordinates screening and tracking to ensure that children are referred for EIP services if they experience developmental delay or disability.

Families interested in obtaining more information about EIP should contact the NYS Department of Health, Bureau of Early Intervention at (518) 473-7016 or e-mail

Preschool Special Education Program and Services

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) administers, through local school districts, preschool special education programs and services for preschool students with disabilities, ages 3 to 5 years of age. The Board of Education (BOE) or trustees of each school district are required to identify all students with disabilities who reside in the school district and establish a register of children who are entitled to attend public schools in the district or to attend a preschool program during the next school year. In addition, various people can refer a child to the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE), such as the parent, doctor, judicial officer, designated person in a public agency, or someone from an Early Childhood Direction Center, an approved preschool program or the Early Intervention Program (EIP). Parents seeking additional information about preschool special education program and services should visit New York State Education Department at

Bureau of Housing and Support Services (BHSS)

The Bureau of Housing and Support Services administers an array of programs to address the problems of homelessness in the State. These programs provide a continuum of services for homeless, at risk and low-income households. BHSS programs are designed to prevent homelessness, provide shelter for the homeless, construct supportive housing for the homeless and offer essential services to stabilize housing situations and increase levels of self-sufficiency.  To accomplish this, BHSS administers the Homeless Housing and Assistance Program (HHAP), as well as a range of support services programs for homeless and at risk families and individuals, including the Solutions to End Homelessness Program (STEHP), New York State Supportive Housing Program (NYSSHP), Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS Program (HOPWA), Emergency Needs for the Homeless Program (ENHP), and the Operational Support for AIDS Housing Program (OSAH).

For more information about the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance - Bureau of Housing and Support Services, please visit their website at:

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