Options to Help You Pay for Child Care

Financial Assistance 

Click here for the website to Care 4 Kids

The goal of the Care 4 Kids program is to make child care affordable for low to moderate income families in Connecticut. The program is a partnership between the State of Connecticut, the families in the program and the providers who take care of the children.

To participate in the program, there are certain eligibility requirements for parents, children and child care providers.

To learn more about Care 4 Kids, visit the website. It has information for both parents and child care providers. You can look at the site to find out how the program works, who is eligible, and more. You can also print the forms you need to apply for the program

 Other Child Care Financial Assistance

Some child care programs offer free or low cost child care.  Free or low cost programs receive state or federal subsidies.  How much a family pays can be based on income and family size.   

  • Early Head Start – a federally funded program for pregnant women, infants and toddlers that runs part time/part year at no cost with a possible home visiting component. It may also have a full time/full year component based on a sliding scale that is center based.
  • Head Start – a federally funded center for children ages 3-5 years old that runs part time/part year at no cost, but may also have a full time/full year program based on a sliding scale.
  • Office of Head Start
  • Early Head Start – Child Care Partnerships
  • School Readiness Funded – a state funded program for children ages 3-5 years old that is available in urban areas and some rural/suburban communities. Town residency is required to qualify for this program.
  • State Funded Centers – a state funded program that services mostly children ages 3-5 years old. However, there are some centers that do offer these subsidized slots for infants and toddlers or school age children as well.
  • Smart Start  – a state funded program to expand preschool programs in public school settings. Eligible public schools must meet conditions defined by the Office of Early Childhood.

These free or low cost programs are available.  Contact 2-1-1 Child Care for program availability near you.  1-800-505-1000

Other Assistance to Families:

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a federal program that provides assistance to needy families.  In Connecticut it is administered by the CT Department of Social Services.  Families can find information and eligibility requirements as well as links to more information and where to apply.  Providers may also access this information in order to support the families they work with.   Visit 211

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program – a federal social services program to assist low income households in meeting their immediate home energy needs. The Connecticut 211  www.211ct.org has information about electric, gas, utility disconnection protections, and utility budget billing.  Providers may also use this information to help support the families that they work with.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Families can find information and eligibility requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – a federally funded program that helps eligible individuals and families afford the cost of food at supermarkets, grocery stores and farmers markets.  There is information regarding the documents required for applying to the SNAP program, the way benefits are dispersed and the appeal process if SNAP benefits are denied. Families can find the link to the Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS) website which includes more information about the program as well as the online application. Child Care providers can refer families in need to the pre-screening tool listed in order to assist with eligibility questions.            Visit 211