Administration for Children's Services311Search all websites


Childcare Eligibility Wizard

Step 1
Step 2
Step 3
Step 4

I am a parent looking for child care.

We are here to help you start the application process. As a parent, you probably have many questions about child care in New York City. This wizard will help you learn whether you qualify for financial help, and then help you with your family's application.

You are the best judge of whether a child care setting is right for your child. We are proud to serve 75,000 children in all 5 boroughs. Our goal is to make the application process smooth for you, and to provide your child with quality care.

What Types of Child Care are Available?

Back to ACS Website

Do I qualify for financial assistance?

To determine whether you qualify for a subsidy, NYC Children's Services will consider your family income and your reason for needing care.

Please enter your family income from all sources, including employment income, alimony, child support, social security, unemployment benefits or other sources.

Enter each source of income once, next to the frequency with which you receive the income. Enter your total income, before taxes and deductions. Then click on Total Monthly Income

Part 1: Calculate your monthly income
Weekly (payment once a week) Bi-weekly (pay every 2 weeks)
Semi-monthly (pay comes twice a month) Monthly (pay comes once a month)
Annually (total income for the year)
Total Monthly Income: $
Part 2: Find your subsidy income limit
Your Subsidy Income Limit:
Part 3: Check your Income Eligibility

Reason for Needing Child Care:

** Please note: Income requirements are only applicable if on cash assistance.
If you can answer YES to at least one (1) of these questions, you may qualify for subsidized child care.

  • Are you currently homeless or living in temporary housing?
  • Are you working 20 hours or more a week?
  • Are you attending an approved school (high school, GED program, or 2 year college) or training program?
  • Are you a recipient of domestic violence services?
  • Are you receiving protective and/or preventive services for your child?
  • Are you looking for work? (You would be eligible for care if looking for work up to 6 months)
  • Are you enrolled in a 4-year college and working 17.5 hours/week?
  • Do you receive services such as cash assistance, TANF, or public assistance? (If YES, please apply for child care directly at your Job Center.)

It looks like you may qualify for subsidized child care.

To get started, here is what you do:

1. Select an ACS child care program

NYC Children's Services supports eligible families with child care services at more than 300 child care programs across 5 boroughs. To locate child care providers near you, click on a borough:

You are the best judge of whether a child care setting is right for your child. Please visit the programs that may meet your needs, and take the time to look around the child care setting. Watch how the children and adults interact. Ask questions about the caregivers, safety, meals and snacks, schedule, health and discipline.

If you are interested in enrolling your child in a particular center, ask the director for an Application for Child Care Subsidy with instructions.

2. Prepare the application and collect required documents

You will need these documents to submit your application:

  • Application (Form # CS-925 in PDF) and Instructions (Form # CS 925A in PDF)
  • Documentation Required for Child Care Eligibility (PDF)
  • Proof of Identity: you must verify your child(ren)'s relationship to you.
  • Proof of Address: you must verify your current New York City address.
  • Proof of citizenship for the child needing care: your child should be a legal resident or a citizen. A parent’s citizenship status is not relevant.
  • Proof of all income and benefits: you must verify employment, if you are employed. Also, if applicable, please prove alimony/child support, unemployment, self employment, social security, disability and Medicaid income and benefits. This total income amount will help determine whether you meet the financial requirement for receiving a subsidy.
  • Reason for needing care: choose your reason for needing child care to see which documents to collect to prove your need.
  • View a list of all required forms

Once you have completed your application and collected all your documents, you are ready to apply in person at an ACS child care program.

3. Apply for subsidized child care at the child care program you selected

You will submit your application and supporting materials at the child care program you have selected. NYC Children's Services will review your completed application and make a decision about your eligibility. The decision is generally made within 10 days of receiving your application.

You will receive a notice from NYC Children's Services in the mail, telling you whether you are eligible for a child care subsidy. If eligible, you will receive information on enrollment and your part of the child care fee. You will call your selected child care program to schedule an orientation session. If you are not eligible for a subsidy, you will receive an explanation for your review.

Information on Unsubsidized Child Care

If you don't qualify or aren't interested in subsidized child care, you can search for child care programs and providers here.

The New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS)

OCFS maintains a list of licensed child care programs and providers. Families using these programs pay fees directly to the providers. The programs set their own day care rates.

ACS contracted program list:

NYC Children's Services supports eligible families with child care services at more than 300 child care programs across 5 boroughs. To locate child care providers near you, click on a borough:

NYC's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH)

DOHMH, through their Bureau of Child Care, is the regulatory agency for child care services (public and private) operating within New York City. Click on the link below to obtain identifying information, permitting status for child care centers.