Child Care Assistance Program

Upon review of American Rescue Plan Act funds, OEC has determined all Essential Worker/Alternative Funding childcare assistance will end March 31, 2024.  Our traditional Low-Income program has funding and is accepting applications for qualifying families.


Thank you for your interest in the Child Care Assistance Program.


Child Care Assistance is a program that is available for low-income families. This program provides financial assistance for quality childcare and is made possible by the Child Care Development Fund (CCDF). This program is under the administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In the State of Arkansas, the Office of Early Childhood is responsible for managing the Childcare Assistance Program.

Quick Links

Am I eligible for child care assistance?

Families must meet the following criteria:

  1. Meet the established income guidelines.
  2. Each adult residing in the household must be employed at least 30 hour per week, or be enrolled and attending high school, college, GED classes, vocational school or a training program as a full-time student. A combination of school and work is acceptable if the individual is involved at a minimum of 30 hours.
  3. Have an eligible child. Our program serves children from birth through 12 years of age.

What are the income guidelines?

Open the 2021 CCDF Sliding Fee Chart document below and find the size of your family and then locate the column in which your family’s Gross Monthly Income falls. (All income from all family members must be included in the monthly total. This includes earned income, SSA, SSI, VA, etc.) If your monthly income falls into one of the columns listed on the chart, your family may qualify for childcare assistance. Families may be required to pay a percentage of the cost for childcare.

How do I apply for childcare assistance?

You may print and complete the Childcare Assistance Application below, request an application by contacting the local Program Eligibility Specialist or you may contact the Office of Early Childhood at 1-800-322-8176 and an application will be mailed to you.

After an application is completed, it may be emailed to, returned to your local DHS office, or mailed to the address below.

Arkansas Department of Human Services
Office of Childcare and Early Childhood Education
P.O. Box 1437, Slot S145
Little Rock, AR 72203

What is the application process?

The Childcare Assistance Program is based on the availability of funds. If funds are available at the time your application is received, you will be contacted by the local Program Eligibility Specialist. They will verify your eligibility for childcare assistance.

If funds are not available at the time your application was received, the local Program Eligibility Specialist will send a notification to you which explains you have been placed on a waiting list for the county of your residence. Your application will only be effective for twelve (12) months as stated on your application. If you still require assistance at the end of the twelve (12) months, then you must submit a new application to remain on the waiting list.

How is childcare provided for my children?

Once a family is determined eligible for the Childcare Assistance Program, they must select a childcare provider that is licensed or registered by the Office of Early Childhood. The provider must be an active participant in the Childcare Assistance Program.

Families may contact the Program Eligibility Specialist to request a list of childcare providers that participate in the Childcare Assistance Program or call 1-800-322-8176. Families may also use the Search for Childcare located here.