Early Childhood Education

Increasing evidence has emerged to show that children's learning opportunities in the years before kindergarten have an important effect on their performance in school and ultimately their ability to contribute to society as adults. Through the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL), Pennsylvania is helping our children, families, teachers, and communities reach their promise.

Help with child care expenses

    If you are looking for help to pay child care expenses, or if you need help figuring out how to care for and educate your young child, Child Care Works can help. For more information, call the Child Care Works helpline at 1-877-4-PA-KIDS. You can also find help and information at your local Early Learning Resource Center.

    We share the concern of parents that child care centers, group child care homes and family child care homes in Pennsylvania meet basic health and safety standards. Through our Certification Services Bureau, we certify and register child care facilities to make sure they meet these standards.

    Find a Child Care Provider

      You can find child care providers near your home or workplace using the Online Child Care Provider Search database.

      Licensing & Inspection Reports

      You can also use the Online Child Care Provider Search to review certification information about a provider, including the provider's certificate status, verified complaints and inspection results. If you want more information about a provider, please contact the Bureau of Certification Regional Office that covers the county where the provider is located.

      Keystone STARS

        Keystone STARS rates child care programs from one to four STARS on things you care about (meets state regulations for safety, offers a child-friendly atmosphere with good teachers that partner with you to help your child learn) so you can find the program that feels right for your family. Keystone STARS provides early childhood programs in Pennsylvania with the tools to continually improve service to children and families. Through the Keystone STARS program and the STARS rating system, families know that as programs earn more STARS, they are providing higher quality early education for their child. You can search for a Keystone STARS program in your area.

        Disabilities Developmental Delays

          If your child is birth to five and has disabilities or developmental delays, our Early Intervention services can provide access to as many opportunities as possible to help them reach their promise. Parents interested in Early Intervention Services may contact the CONNECT Helpline at 1-800-692-7288.

          Child Care Reports

          • 2022 Child Care Market Rate Survey (MRS) Report]
            The Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) has released the 2022 Child Care Market Rate Survey (MRS) Report, a collection and analysis of prices charged by child care providers in an open market, where the parent/guardian and provider do not have a relationship that could affect the price charged. The MRS will guide state agencies, such as OCDEL, in setting payment rates within the context of market conditions so the rates are sufficient to provide equal access.

          • 2019-2021 Pennsylvania State Plan for Child Care Development Block Grant Report (CCDBG)Updated: August 2021
            The Department of Education and Department of Human Services Office of Child Development and Early Learning is pleased to announce the public hearing for the draft Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) state plan. The Child Care Development Block Grant is one of the primary federal funding sources for monitoring regulated child care programs, child care subsidy through Child Care Works, and child care quality improvement through Keystone STARS.

          • Child Care Fatality and Serious Injury Report
            OCDEL makes serious injury and child fatality information available to parents and other stakeholders on a monthly and annual basis. The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2014 requires states to present provider-specific information showing results of monitoring and inspection reports, as well as the number of deaths and serious injuries that occur in child care settings each year.