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Child Care and Early Childhood Development and Education

Individuals experiencing Long COVID may need assistance with childcare or preschool. In addition, young children with Long COVID might need services, supports or accommodations. Several federal programs are available that may be able to help you. Some of the resources in this section may also support individuals, their families and caregivers who are experiencing the longer-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as mental health and substance use challenges, and bereavement. Individuals who may need additional assistance due to the loss of a caregiver may also find assistance through these supports and services.

This section covers three topics

  • Child Care
  • Early Childhood Development and Education
  • Tax Credits.

If you need legal assistance with child care or early childhood benefits, you may want to review the Legal Assistance section of the Know Your Rights section.

Not Sure Where to Start?

Q. Worried about paying for child care?

A. To find out more about child care financial assistance resources in your state, visit See Your State's Resources |

Q. Worried about finding affordable learning opportunities for your preschool age children?

A. Reach out to the Head Start Programs and check your eligibility
Call 1 (866) 763-6481, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET.
Visit How to Apply | ECLKC (

Child Care

Child Care Financial Assistance Options

Several federal funding sources are available to help pay for child care. These programs are intended to help eligible working families with low incomes access child care and improve the quality of child care for all children. Subsidized child care services are available to eligible families through certificates (vouchers) or grants and contracts with providers. The Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) also improves the quality of care to promote children’s healthy development and learning by supporting child care licensing, quality improvement systems to help programs meet higher standards, and training and education for child care workers.

Early Childhood Development and Education

Head Start and Early Head Start Programs

Head Start and Early Head Start programs provide families with free learning and development services for their children ages birth to five years. Head Start programs must ensure that at least 10 percent of children enrolled are Individuals with Disabilities Education Act eligible children with disabilities, which may include children with Long COVID. Some Early Head Start programs also provide prenatal services for pregnant people. Families qualify for the Head Start program if their household income is at or below the poverty level. Families who receive public assistance (TANF, SSI, or SNAP), those with children in foster care, or children who are homeless also qualify regardless of income.

Tax Credits

The Child and Dependent Care Credit

The Child and Dependent Care Credit is a tax credit that may help families pay for the care of eligible children and other dependents, referred to as “qualifying persons.” The credit is calculated based on income and a percentage of expenses that you incur for the care of qualifying persons (e.g., childcare, day treatment, in home care), to enable you to go to work, look for work, or attend school.

The Child Tax Credit

The Child Tax Credit provides money to support American families—helping them make ends meet, more easily afford the costs of raising children, or save for their children’s future. On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act, expanding the Child Tax Credit for 2021 and providing additional tax relief to the vast majority of families.


Visit the full Services and Supports for Longer-Term Impacts of COVID-19 Report.