What is subsidized child care?

The Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) provides free or low cost child care to eligible families living in New York City. Child Care is available for children ages 6 weeks through 12 years, while children with special needs can receive care through age 18. Child care is typically provided at ACS-funded child care centers and registered family child care homes.


You may be eligible for free or low cost child care based on your family’s income and reason for requiring child care.

Financial Guidelines
Family Size Income
2 < $40,068
3 < $46,692
4 < $49,032
5 < $58,032
6 < $66,444
Social Guidelines

What Are ACS-Funded Child Care Programs?

ACS directly funds child care services for eligible families at more than 300 child care centers, and family child care networks as well as over 250 Head Start programs. All ACS-funded child care centers and family child care networks are registered by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to make sure they meet NYS and NYC standards.

What Is A ‘Voucher’?

A child care voucher permits families eligible for subsidized child care to access child care services outside of the ACS-funded programs. Funding for vouchers is extremely limited, and the wait for a voucher can be very long.

How To Apply For Subsidized Child Care

Families interested in subsidized child care should apply to be evaluated by ACS. Fill out a Child Care Application (call 311 to be sent an application) and contact programs in your area to discuss availability, program requirements and the needs of your child. You are encouraged to visit the child care programs in order to choose the best care for you and your child. Once you have chosen a specific child care program, you will need to submit your application and required documentation to the child care program. Please be sure to read the cover letter in the application you receive from 311. To find out more about ACS and the work they do, please visit the NYC Administration for Children’s Services or call 3-1-1.