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New York free daycare and child care assistance programs.

Parents who need help paying for child care in New York or free daycare vouchers may be able to receive assistance from government subsidies and other forms of financial support. Not only can resources listed below provide the care you need, but case managers and the state can help families select a high quality, affordable provider in their town or county.

Applicants will need to meet low income conditions. In addition, in order to get free or government subsidized child or daycare the parent needs to be currently working, actively searching for employment, or they may be in job training. Families with adults who are working, but are earning lower incomes, might qualify for a daycare subsidy. Some exceptions can be made from time to time as well.

For example, most residents will be guaranteed with help paying for their child care if they are on Temporary Assistance/TANF and need financial aid in order to meet any work participation requirements that are in place from that program. As funding allows, this can be guaranteed for up to one year. These are other eligibility criteria have been put into place by the state of New York.

The benefits and services of the free government subsidy program are made available to help support various reasons why a parent/caretaker may be unavailable to provide the 24-hour care on their own. So some other reasons that a family may qualify for assistance include Illness or incapacity, full time employment, participation in an approved training or educational program, Temporary absence from the home due to an emergency situation, actively conducting job searching activities, they have a special needs child or are participating in a Child Protective Plan.

As part of the free New York Child Care Subsidy Program, qualified families or parents will be provided the financial assistance they need to help pay for the expenses associated with providing quality child care. The state wants to their best to enhances the physical, emotional and educational well-being of children while their parent(s) is working, going to school training, or seeking employment.

The state will only pay for a portion of your bills. New York State requires that all non-temporary assistance families who are benefiting from low income child care must pay a portion of the child care expense as well. They need to pay their provider directly. This payment is considered as the Family Share or Parent Fee. While the amount that the family needs to pay will vary, it can be as little as a dollar or so per week. However that is not very common. There are no resource limitations for the child care subsidy program.




As indicated, there could be some advice provided to help a participant select a day care provider. In general, low income families in New York that are receiving a child care subsidy have the right to choose any legal, approved child care provider.

Studies show that these daycare subsidies help guardians/parents who are working to be self sufficient. The state offers financial aid during this period and will provide them with choices in child care arrangements. Over the years many residents have received assistance in transitioning from temporary assistance to employment as part of this resource. It can also help support children while their parent/guardian participates in drug, alcohol or mental health services.

How to apply for child or day care subsidies in New York

While terms of the program may change, your local County Department of Social Services is the main point of contact for the latest information on free day care for kids or infants, or for financial help in paying a child care provider. Residents of New York City should contact the Human Resources Administration and Agency for Child Development. Your local office will determine your family’s eligibility for any subsidy. This will be based on your total household income, your child's age, reasons for needing day care, and any other individual needs.

Be sure to follow any requirements that may be put into place by your local county or Department of Social Services office. For example, most local governments require that they are notified within 10 days any changes that may affect your subsidy, such as a change in income, employment, or if you are relocating to a new town. Most counties cannot pay for any daycare absences, whether due to vacation, illness, or program closures. A number of other terms may be set as well.







Contact for free daycare in New York

To learn more or apply, or if you are interested in finding out if you are eligible for a New York state child care subsidy or free daycare voucher, you need to call or stop by your local Department of Social Services office. Applications can be sent in the mail or you can apply at the office. Or dial 518-474-9454. Anyone that may want general information about the program, you can dial your local Child Care Resource and Referral Agency.


By Jon McNamara

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