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Early Learning Resource Center Region 8

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About the Program

Early Learning Resource Center Region 8 (ELRC) provides financial assistance to qualified families, caretakers, guardians or foster parents for childcare for their children from birth through 13 years of age. This program is funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (PA DHS), Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL). There is a ELRC in every county in PA. If you need a different ELRC, find your office here:

WHO may apply and HOW to apply:

To find out if you are eligible for subsidized child day care contact ELRC of Centre, Juniata, Mifflin, Northumberland, Snyder, and Union Counties by phone (814) 231-1352, 1-888-440-2257 or stop by our office located at 2565 Park Center Blvd., Suite 100, State College, PA, 16801. You may apply up to 30 days before needing care. The first step in the process is completing an application.

Each Family must meet the following criteria:

  1. All children needing care must be US citizens or legally admitted aliens and must be residents of Centre, Juniata, Mifflin, Northumberland, Snyder, and Union Counties.

  2. All parent/caretakers must work an average of at least 20 hours a week; or work an average of at least 10 hours a week and attend a nationally accredited training program for an average of at least 10 hours a week. Training programs include: Adult basic education, English as a second language, 2 or 4 year undergraduate degrees.

  3. Graduate, PH.D, or Post Doctorate Students must work a minimum of 20 hours a week. NOTE: this type of training does not qualify to be used towards the work requirement and ELRC subsidy cannot pay for child care during that training time.

  4. Work hours must coincide with the hours needed for day care. Exceptions are made for those who work the night shift to allow for sleep time.

  5. The family must meet the PA Department of Human Services (DHS), OCDEL income guidelines.

  6. Self-employed individuals must meet minimum wage requirements and file taxes.

Additional guidelines may apply on a case by case basis. Contact ELRC directly for specific information and details.

Applications for subsidized child day care can be picked up at the ELRC office at 2565 Park Center Blvd., Suite 100, State College, mailed or completed online at

After your application is processed and funds become available, an adult family member must meet with an eligibility agent prior to subsidy beginning.

There is often a waiting list for financial assistance. Once funding is available, all families are assessed a weekly family co-payment according to their family size and gross annual income. Your co-payment covers all children in the family who receive child care services through the subsidy program. The amount of your weekly co-payment is established at the time of your initial eligibility determination. This fee can change based on your current work/training circumstances. The copayment is not based on how much care costs or how much care you need.

Once funding is available and the parent/caretaker receives a Funds Available notice, the parent/caretaker is expected to complete a Face-to Face appointment with a ELRC caseworker prior to completion of the enrollment process for ELRC. This must occur within 30 days of the date the Funds Available notice is issued. ELRC funding will not be provided unless this Face to Face appointment is successfully completed.

You pay your co-payment directly to your provider or providers weekly. Be sure you check with your provider to determine where your payment should be made.

The PA Department of Human Services sets reimbursement rates for care. The ELRC will pay the difference between the co-payment and the DHS daily reimbursement rate assigned to your provider for specific levels/types of care. Factors such as number of days a week, full time or part time care and age of child are specific to the DHS reimbursement rate that the ELRC applies to your child/ren’s enrollment. PLEASE NOTE: Providers may charge more than what the ELRC can reimburse and as a result you may be charged the difference by your provider. Special fees may not be included in the co-pay/reimbursement rate either, (for example, fee for meals, field trips, registration fee, materials or activity fees). See your provider for additional costs that apply.

The ELRC will determine a childcare schedule based on information from your application. You may qualify for subsidy for more or less days than you wish to enroll your child. You will need or decide if you can afford the difference in the provider’s rate and what you qualify for or discuss with your provider your schedule needs. You are encouraged to discuss your childcare schedule with a ELRC case worker whenever you have a question or have had a change in work/training schedule.

ELRC will pay for up to 40 absent days in a state fiscal year which runs from July 1 to June 30, then the “clock” starts again on July 1 of each year. Absences over the 40 days are not reimbursed as enrolled days and providers are responsible for charging their clients their co-pay plus a daily private-pay charge. See your provider for details.

Anyone who is funded by ELRC subsidy has agreed to report any and all changes related to their subsidy case within 10 days of that change. Changes that have not been reported timely and result in a decrease of financial assistance or complete loss of funding, may mean that the parent/caretaker will be required to pay privately for any childcare that the child care provider is not reimbursed for.

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