Community Resources

Resources and supports for anyone experiencing challenges during this difficult time from the PA Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL).

Care for Them: Quality early learning, whether at home, in child care, or preschool, helps all children reach their promise. Find early learning programs, learn how to keep your child healthy, and get help dealing with challenging behaviors from PA’s Promise for Children.

Child Care Works: Pennsylvania’s child care subsidy program, Child Care Works, may be able to help. Child care subsidy makes it possible for low-income families to find reliable, quality child care near their home or work and provides financial assistance to help families afford it.

Early Learning Resource Center: Help with finding a child care, preschool or afterschool program, as well as help paying for child care.

Find Child Care: Search for Pennsylvania certified child care and early learning programs.

Help them Learn: Play is a fun and effective way to support your child’s learning and development. Discover playful activities you can use to help your child gain new skills at home, and learn how to prepare for preschool and kindergarten from PA’s Promise for Children.

Pennsylvania Head Start and Early Head Start: Pennsylvania’s Head Start and Early Head Start programs provide free comprehensive services for low-income children from birth to entry into kindergarten.

Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts: Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts provides free half-day or full-day pre-kindergarten for at-risk children throughout Pennsylvania.

Watch them Grow: Children learn so much and grow so quickly in their first five years it can be hard to keep up! Although each child develops at his own pace, they all follow the same steps. Get resources to tell you what to expect as your child develops—and what to do if you have questions or concerns along the way from PA’s Promise for Children.

COMPASS: COMPASS is an online tool for Pennsylvanians to apply for many health and human service programs and manage benefit information. Apply for cash assistance, LIHEAP and more.

COVID-19 Guide: Scenarios & Benefits Available Chart: An infographic from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry providing scenarios and benefits relating to COVID-19. Provides info on paid leave if available through employer, paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Expanded Unemployment Compensation, and Workers Compensation.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) expanded the FMLA to provide up to 12 weeks of paid leave at partial pay for employees of certain types of employers if they need to care for a child whose school or child care facility is closed because of COVID-19.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program: The PUA program provides unemployment compensation benefits to workers who lose income or employment because they are the primary caregiver to a child whose school or childcare provider has closed.

Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry: Find information on employment opportunities, unemployment compensation and more.

Find a food pantry: The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services website has a map to help locate the closest food pantry.

Free and Reduced Price School Meals: Schools send school meal applications home at the beginning of each school year. However, you may apply for school meals any time during the school year by submitting an application directly to your school or district. If you receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits, all of your children who attend school automatically qualify for free school meals.

Homeless Assistance Program: For families in danger of being evicted from their apartment or home, or those experiencing homelessness, the Pennsylvania Homeless Assistance Program has resources and assistance to help.

Pennsylvania Housing and Urban Development (HUD): Get information on homeownership, rental assistance, avoiding foreclosure, and resources to assist those facing homelessness.

Pennsylvania WIC: The Pennsylvania Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) serves Pennsylvania residents who are pregnant women; Breastfeeding women, for up to one year postpartum; Women up to six months postpartum, who are not breastfeeding; or Infants and children under 5 years old, including foster children.

SNAP: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps Pennsylvanians buy food. Those who are eligible receive an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) ACCESS Card to make food purchases. Experiencing a food emergency and need food right away? Help is available.

COMPASS: COMPASS is an online tool for Pennsylvanians to apply for many health and human service programs and manage benefit information. Apply for medical assistance, SNAP (food stamps), school meals, cash assistance, LIHEAP and more.

Get A Little Help: Sometimes a family needs a little extra help. Find other families and professionals ready to support you with advice and assistance from PA’s Promise for Children.

Resources for Families in Pennsylvania on COVID-19 (Coronavirus): PA’s Promise for Children has general COVID-19 information for families relating to health and safety, talking to children about coronavirus, and other resources for families.

United Way of Pennsylvania 211: Help with a utility bill, housing assistance, food, employment, health, mental health, disaster services, clothing and household, disability services, family resources and more.

COMPASS: COMPASS is an online tool for Pennsylvanians to apply for many health and human service programs and manage benefit information. Apply for medical assistance and more.

Early Intervention: Early intervention consists of services and supports designed to help families with children from birth to age five who have developmental delays or disabilities.

Mental Health Resource Guide: The online Mental Health Resources Guide provides Pennsylvanians with a full complement of resources available to help everyone with their mental health needs.

Pennsylvania CHIP: CHIP is short for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, Pennsylvania’s program to provide health insurance to uninsured children and teens who are not eligible for or enrolled in Medical Assistance.

Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance (PFSA): Provides information on topics of interest to parents, and a variety of publications and resources, as well as support through family support programs in your community.

VaccinateLancaster: Lancaster County is working with local healthcare and other community partners to bring you information about the COVID-19 vaccine including availability, distribution, and safety.