FAMILIES

Child Care Options

Other Child Care Options

Steps to Finding the Best Child Care for Your Family

There are several other options of child care that a family might be eligible for.  Please read more about them to see if your family qualifies and they fit the needs of your family.  Some may be licensed child care and others might be exempt child care.

Head Start and Early Head Start (HS and EHS)

If you qualify, Head Start and Early Head Start programs provide free learning and developmental services to children aged birth to 5 from low-income families.  Some Early Head Start programs also provide prenatal services for pregnant women.  To find out more or to see if you are eligible visit:

The Early Childhood Assistance Program (ECAP)

The Early Childhood Assistance Program (ECAP) is a state-funded, comprehensive child development program for income-eligible families with preschool age children in Delaware.  The Office of Early Learning (OEL) contracts and partners with public and private early learning programs to deliver ECAP services to 845 three-year-old and four-year-old children statewide.

Relative Care for Non-traditional Hours

Families who request Purchase of Care funding for a relative to provide child care during non-traditional hours must abide by the following policies.

  1. The relative providing care must be related to the child by:
    1. Marriage
    2. Blood relationship
    3. Court decree
  2. The relative providing care must be related to the child in one of the following relationships:
    1. Great-grandparent
    2. Grandparent
    3. Adult sibling
    4. Aunt
    5. Uncle
  3. The relative provider shall:
    1. Be 21 years of age or older
    2. Only provide care for the children of one family member
    3. Only provide care during non-traditional hours that are not normally offered through a licensed child care provider. Relative care is limited to evening and weekend shift work hours only.
  4. The relative provider must successfully complete professional development requirements offered by the Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood(DIEEC) Professional Development Department at University of Delaware:
    1. The “Criminal History, Child Abuse, and Neglect Background Request Form.” This form must be completed for the relative provider and each individual 18 years of age or older who is living in the relative provider’s home.
    2. The orientation class on relative child care rules and regulations
    3. 28 hours of approved training within 12 months of completing the relative child care orientation class
    4. 3 hours of health and safety training annually
    5. CPR and first aid classes. The relative provider’s certification must be current and re-certifications must be completed every 2 years.
  5. In the children’s home, the relative provider shall:
    1. Care for a minimum of four children in the home. The total number of children who are cared for in the home may not exceed a maximum of five children
    2. Care for no more than two children under two years of age
    3. Care for the children of one family member. The children must be related as siblings.
  6. In the relative provider’s home, the relative provider shall:
    1. Care for a minimum of one child in the home. The total number of children  who are cared for in the home may not exceed a maximum of five children
    2. Care for no more than two children under two years of age.
My Child DE is a user-friendly website that brings together resources to help families, providers and other caretakers make informed choices for the children of Delaware. The goal of My Child DE is to help these groups feel welcome, informed and empowered to engage, learn and take the next steps needed to support children.