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Child Care

Child care for infants & toddlers

EarlyLearn | NYC Department of Education

1. How it Works

EarlyLearn is free or low-cost child care and education for children six weeks to two years old. There are hundreds of home-based and center-based programs across NYC offering services in safe and positive learning environments.

  • EarlyLearn is available for families who qualify for free or low-cost care.
  • Children can play, discover, and build positive relationships.
  • Eligibility is based on your family’s income, size, and needs.
  • Families who do not get Cash Assistance or are not in foster care or homeless will need to pay a family share based on income.
  • Services are available for children with disabilities.
  • Early Head Start programs, also under EarlyLearn, serve pregnant mothers, and Infants and Toddler Extended Day/Year Programs. These programs provide services for at least eight hours a day all year round.

2. Determine your eligibility

EarlyLearn programs, including Early Head Start, have income and other eligibility requirements. If you qualify, your child can begin a program any time during the year.

Take a short survey to see if you might be eligible for this or 30 other programs.

Am I Eligible?

3. What you need to include

It’s important to include the right documents when you apply. Your documents show whether the program is right for you.

This page can help you choose the right documents for your application.

Proof of who you are

For each person applying, any one document:

  • Passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Baptismal or other religious certificate
  • Official hospital or birth records
  • Adoption records
  • Naturalization certificate

Proof of where you live

Proof of your income

Proof of citizenship/immigration status

Next section:

4. How to Apply

4. How to apply

Here are your options.

Apply by mail

  1. Download the application or visit a program of your choice to pick one up, or call 311 to request one in the mail.
  2. Mail applications:
    NYC DOE – Office of Student Enrollment,
    PO BOX 377
    Maplewood, NJ 07040

Apply by mail

Apply in person

Come back to it later.
We can send you a link to this page to help you get back to it when you’re ready.

More ways to get help with this program

Visit the website

Visit the EarlyLearn website for more information.

Call 311

Ask for “EarlyLearn Child Care” if you need help finding a program.

Visit a center

Visit an EarlyLearn program near you for help in person.

Last Updated Monday, April 19th, 4:54pm

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