No-cost child care programs
Delaware offers no-cost child care programs to eligible families. These programs focus on academics, social skills, health and nutrition to better prepare all children for school success.
- Head Start or Early Head Start programs: Delaware’s Head Start and Early Head Start programs support eligible children from low-income families as well as children with disabilities from birth to their transition into kindergarten. Early Head Start programs offer services to pregnant women as well.
- Early Childhood Assistance Program (ECAP): ECAP is for preschool-age children from income-eligible families as well as for children with documented delays or disabilities, regardless of income. Foster children, children who are homeless and families on TANF are also eligible. In addition to following the Head Start Program Performance Standards, ECAP programs must maintain a Delaware Stars 4 rating or higher. Pre-enrollment takes place each spring and again in August for the September-May school year.
- First Start Delaware Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership (EHS-CCP): First Start EHS-CCP supports partnerships between new or existing Early Head Start programs and child care providers who agree to meet the Head Start Program Performance Standards. It is part of the Federal Early Head Start program. First Start EHS-CCP currently serves 200 children in 11 centers in Delaware. Read more in the 2017-18 First Start Delaware EHS-CCP Report.
Providers interested in learning more about participating in any of the above programs should contact the Office of Early Learning or call 302-735-4295.