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Child Care Services

This service provides support for families with children to enable the caretaker to hold a job, obtain training or meet special needs of the parent or child. Child care may also be provided in child abuse cases to help protect the child. If you are working, you may have to pay a portion of your child care expenses. Contact a DSS office to get more information on the program rules and fees.


Child care services are available for children under the age of 13. The Division of Social Services determines eligibility based on a family's income and need for service. The income limit is currently set at 185% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). If your child is older than 13 and has a special need, you still may be eligible to receive child care.

2019-2020 Child Care Income Limits

Effective October 1, 2019 - September 30, 2020

Maximum Gross Monthly Income Limit at Application
185% Federal Poverty Level (FPL)
Family Size Gross Monthly Income
1 $1,926
2 $2,609
3 $3,289
4 $3,970
5 $4,653
6 $5,334
7 $6,014
8 $6,697
9 $7,380
10 $8,062

Maximum Gross Monthly Income Limit at Redetermination
200% Federal Poverty Level (FPL)
Family Size Gross Monthly Income
1 $2,082
2 $2,820
3 $3,556
4 $4,292
5 $5,030
6 $5,766
7 $6,502
8 $7,240
9 $7,978
10 $8,716

Maximum Gross Monthly Income Limit at during Authorization
85% State Median Income (SMI)
Family Size Gross Monthly Income
1 $3,496
2 $4,572
3 $5,647
4 $6,723
5 $7,799
6 $8,874
7 $9,076
8 $9,278
9 $9,480
10 $9,681

To be financially eligible for child care assistance, a family's gross monthly income must be at or below 185% of the FPL for the family size.

If a family's gross monthly income has increased to between 185% and 200% of the FPL at their yearly redetermination, then the family will receive a graduated phase-out of child care assistance for a twelve-month period before the child care case is closed.

Any time that a family's gross monthly income exceeds 85% of the SMI or the family no longer has a need for child care assistance, the child care case will close.

 You may choose your child care provider from:

  • A State-licensed Child Care Center
  • A State-licensed Child Care family home

Choosing the right program for your child is one of the most important parenting decisions you will make. For more information on choosing a quality child care provider please click the link below.

Office of Child Care Licensing

New Consumer Education Website: My Child DE

The Division of Social Services is pleased to announce the launch of Delaware's first comprehensive consumer education website, "My Child DE". On this site parents, providers and the public at large will find information on early care and educational programming in our state. The site will also assist parents in making more informed choices regarding childcare. Other information that can be found on the site includes various child care options and how to access them, quality rating information, information on developmental milestones and developmental screenings, licensing requirements, criminal background check requirements, monitoring results, DSS services, etc. We look forward to all feedback as we continue to improve and enhance the site. Please use the following link to access My Child DE

For information on Delaware Stars :

Delaware Stars for Early Success is a Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) for early care and education programs, used to assess, improve and communicate the level of quality.

For more information select  Information on Delaware Stars

Child Care Locator Service

Need help choosing child care? Please call Children and Families First at 1-800-220-3092.

You can find our Child Care and Development Fund Plan for for 2016-2018 on our Publications and Forms page.

Assistance for Relatives

The Delaware Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities provides resources to assist grandparents or other relatives who are raising another person's children. Please select this link for more information.

2018 Delaware Local Child Care Market Rate Survey: Final Report

2018 MRS Final Report