Applying for Childcare
You can apply for childcare either with an Administration for Children's Services (ACS) subsidy or through the Human Resources Administration (HRA) depending on your situation.
Based on your income, childcare can be free to low cost with an ACS childcare subsidy. This subsidy is available to families who have children ages 6 weeks through 12 years or who have children with disabilities through age 18. The subsidy can be used at any ACS funded program. In order to be eligible, you must meet one financial and one social guideline outlined below:
You are enrolled in an approved training or educational program, or looking for work
You are ill or incapacitated
Your child or family is receiving services from either ACS or HRA
You must be absent from your home, leaving your child without supervision
You can also use the ACS Eligibility Wizard to see if you qualify by clicking here.
To apply for an ACS childcare subsidy, the application and a list of other forms you will need to complete can be found here.
- Submit applications to an approved ACS funded childcare provider.
- You must submit three months of consecutive pay stubs in order to verify employment. If you cannot, your employer can complete the "Referral to Employer for Income Information" form.
Four to eight weeks after submitting your application:
- You will receive a letter from ACS stating whether it has been approved or denied. If approved, this letter will state the amount you will need to pay the provider.
- You will receive a letter from ACS listing the childcare provider waitlists that you have been added to. A provider will contact you when an open space is available.
If your child has a disability:
- Your application will be processed within 4 weeks and your child will be placed at the top of the waitlist. Children with disabilities already on the waitlist will be given preference.
- You can apply for providers to receive an enhanced payment rate to cover costs associated with caring for your child by filling out the "Special Needs Payment Rate Application" form.
The Human Resources Administration (HRA) in your area offers childcare assistance. This is available to families whose income does not exceed 85% of the state median income for a family of the same size and does not exceed $1,000,000 in assets. HRA determines family eligibility based on income, reasons for needing childcare, child's age, and individual needs. To determine if you are eligible for HRA childcare, use its screening tool found here.
You are guaranteed assistance, if:
- You are on public assistance and need childcare in order to meet any work participation requirements, or
- You left public assistance for a job and need childcare to go to work You are guaranteed assistance in paying for childcare for one year.
To apply for HRA childcare assistance, fill out the application found here.
- Public Assistance, Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and childcare all require the same application.
- Applications should be submitted to the local HRA office in your area. You can contact the Human Resources Infoline at (718) 557-1399 to find your assigned HRA office.
- Single-parent households will be asked to file for child support from the non-custodial parent when applying for childcare and financial assistance from HRA.
Application decisions vary in time after submission. You can call the Human Resources Infoline to check the status of your application at any time.
- You can search for providers by visiting NYC Health's website.
- For information on income guidelines, click here.