Serves: 0 - 15 years
Child care is available in a variety of settings, including family child care homes, group child care homes, and child care centers. There are important things to keep in mind when deciding which child care setting is best for your family. Learn More.

Child care costs can add up quickly. You may be able to get financial assistance to help pay for it. Learn More.
Child Care
Serves: 0 - 5 years
Pennsylvania's Early Intervention program, which serves children with developmental delays or disabilities ages birth to five, provides individualized support and assistance for both child and family. By working to help maximize their development, the program allows participating children to succeed in any early education setting. The services offered are available in all Pennsylvania counties and are provided free of charge.
Early Intervention
Serves: 0 - 5 years
Head Start programs promote the school readiness of infants, toddlers, and preschool-aged children from low-income families. Services are provided in a variety of settings including centers, family child care, and children¿s own home. Head Start programs also engage parents or other key family members in positive relationships, with a focus on family wellbeing. Parents participate in leadership roles, including having a say in program operations.

Head Start programs are available at no cost to children ages birth to 5 from low-income families. Programs may provide transportation to the centers so enrolled children can participate regularly. Families and children experiencing homelessness, and children in the foster care system are also eligible. Additionally, Head Start services are available to children with disabilities and other special needs.
Head Start
Serves: 0 - 8 years
Home visiting programs offer voluntary, family-focused evidence-based programs to expectant parents and families with new babies and young children. Home visiting supports the child and family by buffering the effects of risk factors and stress in the family and promotes infant and child health, fostering healthy child development, preventing child abuse and neglect, and improving school readiness and family self-sufficiency. Evidence shows that when families receive home-based support, their children are born healthier and are less likely to suffer from abuse or neglect.

Early Head Start - Home Visiting

Early Head Start - Home Visiting targets low-income pregnant women and families with children birth to age three years and provides early, continuous, intensive, and comprehensive child development and family support services. To be eligible for Early Head Start - Home Visiting, most families must be at or below the federal poverty level. The program is designed to nurture healthy attachments between parent and child (and child and caregiver), emphasize a strengths-based, relationship-centered approach to services, and encompass the full range of a family's needs from pregnancy through a child's third birthday.

Healthy Families America

Healthy Families America (HFA) is a nationally recognized evidence-based home visiting program model designed to work with overburdened families who are at-risk for adverse childhood experiences, including child maltreatment. It is the primary home visiting model best equipped to work with families who may have histories of trauma, intimate partner violence, mental health and/or substance abuse issues. HFA services begin prenatally or right after the birth of a baby and are offered voluntarily, intensively and over the long-term (3 to 5 years after the birth of the baby).

Nurse Family Partnership

The Pennsylvania Nurse Family Partnership (NFP) is a nurse home visiting program that helps eligible first-time parents experience healthy pregnancies, learn how to take good care of their babies, and make plans for the future. Home visits by registered nurses promote the physical, cognitive and social-emotional development of the children and provide general support as well as instructive parenting skills to the parents. Services are provided to families prenatally until the child reaches two years of age.

Parents as Teachers

Parents as Teachers (PAT) is an early childhood family support and parent education home-visiting model. Families may enroll in Parents as Teachers beginning with pregnancy and may remain in the program until the child enters kindergarten. Parent educators work with parents to strengthen protective factors and ensure that young children are healthy, safe, and ready to learn. The goals of the model are to increase parent knowledge of early childhood development, improve parenting practices, provide early detection of developmental delays and health issues, prevent child abuse and neglect, and increase children's school readiness and school success.

Parent-Child Home Program

The Parent-Child Home Program (PCHP) is an early literacy home visitation program for eligible families with infants and toddlers. A home visitor models for parents how to read and play with their children to promote positive parent-child interaction, literacy development, and a language-rich home environment. PCHP reinforces the parent's role as their child's first and most important teacher and provides them with the guidance and supports to promote quality early learning opportunities for their children.
Serves: 3 - 4 years
PA Pre-K Counts provides funding for three- and four-year olds to attend a high-quality, half or full-day pre-kindergarten in schools, child care centers, and preschools. It also provides funding for children to access Head Start services and is designed to support children who are at risk of school failure because of income, language (for example, English is not the child's first language), or special needs issues.
PA Pre-K Counts
Serves: 3 - 5 years
Private Academic Schools (PDE Licensed Preschools) (formally known as nursery schools) are licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education as private academic schools. They serve children between the ages of three and five and are staffed by qualified teachers and other professionals who encourage and supervise educational play.
Private Academic School (PDE Licensed Preschool)
Serves: 3 - 4 years
School District Pre-Kindergarten is a pre-school program administered by many school districts to prepare at-risk children for kindergarten. Programming is determined locally.
School District Pre-Kindergarten
Keystone STARS supports and recognizes the continuous quality improvement efforts of early learning programs in Pennsylvania through four levels of performance standards. Each level builds on the previous one and utilizes research-based best practices to promote quality early learning environments and positive child outcomes. The standards address staff qualifications and professional development, the early learning program, partnerships with family and community, and leadership and management.
Keystone STARS
The Certification Bureau is responsible for the regulation of all child care centers, group child care homes and family child care homes in Pennsylvania. The bureau receives a variety of inquiries regarding child care facilities in Pennsylvania. If you are interested in operating a facility or need any information regarding child care regulation, contact the Department of Human Services Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) Regional Office that is responsible for your county.
Provider Certification