Subsidy Program FAQs

The Student Parent Child Care Subsidy program is funded by The Pennsylvania State University and the federal Child Care Access Means Parents in School CCAMPIS (grant). The mission of the Student Parent Childcare Subsidy Program is to help pay a portion of student parent child care costs for qualifying, low-income student parents in order to encourage high quality child care while persisting and graduating from degree programs.

*PLEASE NOTE: Our current CCAMPIS grant was awarded for 4 years, starting October 1, 2022, with funding through September 30, 2026. Student parents receiving CCAMPIS funding have specific requirements including course loads and parent education/involvement to maintain their funding.

How do I know if I am eligible?

Subsidy may be available to any undergraduate or graduate student-parent whose taxable income does not exceed 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. We have calculated the 200% current year cutoffs below:

Federal Poverty Guidelines
Household Size Gross Annual Income
2 $39,440
3 $49,720
4 $60,000
5 $70,280
6 $80,560
7 $90,840
8 $101,120

Other eligibility requirements include:

  • Student-parents must be enrolled in a degree seeking program and attending one of the 20 of Penn State’s undergraduate campuses (currently, World Campus students are not eligible).

  • Pell grant recipients, Veterans and 1st generation college students are granted funding priority.

  • If not enrolled in school, student-parent’s spouse/ partner must be working at least 20 hours a week: work waivers are available for situations of spouse disability or not legally eligible to work

  • Student-parents must be paying the Student Initiated Fees (SIF) as the program is funded through the federal Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) grant and SIF fees.

  • Post comprehensive examination students who are writing their dissertations (and registered for SUBJ 601) are eligible at the same level as SIF paying students (through non-SIF funding sources)

  • Undergraduate Students: 2.5 cumulative GPA

  • Graduate Students: 3.0 cumulative GPA

  • Plan to enroll, or currently have, a child(ren) enrolled in a licensed Keystone Star 2 child care center.

  • Able to commit to volunteering at least 1 hr/semester at your child care provider

    • Documented volunteering in your child’s child care program at least one hour per semester-proof of volunteering will need to be provided by your child care provider to the child care subsidy coordinator each semester. Examples of volunteer work could include serving on the Child care PTO or parent  group at your center, attending a parent work day, volunteer for set-up/clean up for a center wide or classroom event, support teacher appreciation week coordination, volunteer to read to children in your child’s classroom, attend/chaperone field trips, serve as a room parent, attend a lunch and learn or parent training course,  etc. Other great volunteer ideas you may want to contact your child care provider a bout can be found at:

    • Volunteer work involving interactions with children may require background clearances. Please contact your child care provider regarding Department of Human Services volunteer clearance requirements.

  • Meet credit load requirements:

    • Undergraduate:

      • Fall/Spring - 12 credits

      • Summer - 9 credits

    • Graduate:

      • Fall/Spring - 9 credits

      • Summer - 3 credits

Note: Graduate students should also submit their Graduate Assistantship Letter (if applicable) AND enrollment verification from the Registrar's Office along with their course schedule for consideration*

  • If not enrolled in school, student-parent’s spouse/partner must be working at least 20 hrs. week. Work waiver form can be found here (PDF hyper Link to it-see attached)

Please note: Student parents receiving the child care subsidy cannot receive the Penn State subsidy and CCIS, NACRA, Pre-K Counts, etc. You and your childcare provider will be asked to disclose other forms of child care assistance you are receiving to determine eligibility for the program during the application consideration process.

Can I submit my application anytime?

Applications must be submitted prior to each academic term. Please refer to the application timeline on our homepage. Funding may be awarded on a rolling basis after the semester deadline pending remaining funds availability.

What documents need to be included for application?

Please provide copies of the following documents:

  • Current Semester Application 
  • Previous year tax return showing gross annual income pages (if not required to file, please contact our office for necessary documentation)
    • If being supported by government subsidy/scholarship, a copy of that letter is also suitable here)
  • Official Penn State Course schedule (for semester applying)
  • Detailed Penn State Tuition Bill (for semester applying)
  • Official Penn State Financial Aid Report (from LionPath) - lists types of aide receiving, Pell Grant status, etc.
  • 1 month of paycheck stubs for working spouse/partner verifying 20 hour employment requirement (spousal work waivers forms)
  • Official Enrollment Verification (Registrar's Office)

Additionally, graduate students should also submit:

  • Graduate Assistantship Letter (for current semester/year you are applying for subsidy)

Note: If you have applied for/received subsidy in the past, you will need to submit a new application and documents every semester for consideration.

What types of child care services are covered?

Full-time, part-time child care, before and after school care, temporary/back-up child care, and summer term care.

Private kindergarten does not qualify for coverage.

Student parents receiving the child care subsidy cannot receive the Penn State subsidy and other forms of child care assistance/subsidy i.e. CCIS, NAACRA, Pre-K Counts, etc. You and your childcare provider will be asked to disclose other forms of child care assistance you are receiving to determine eligibility for the program during the application consideration process.

How many of my children will be covered by my award?

A student-parent is only permitted to receive one award for up to two children even if two parents are enrolled at Penn State.

Can I use any child care provider?

You may use any Department of Human Services licensed child care program that has a Star 2 or higher rating by Keystone Stars. To find out if a center is a Star 2 or higher, please visit

How much subsidy will I receive?

  • Qualifying students enrolled full time will receive up to 75% of their child care costs for each week they are in class that semester.
  • Qualifying students enrolled part time will receive up to 50% of their child care costs for each week they are in class that semester.

How is my award calculated?

Subsidy awards will be calculated based on:

  • Currently available funding.
  • Weekly rates in effect at the time you submit your application, as verified by your specified childcare provider. Rate changes will only be honored if your child changes classrooms due to their age.
  • Distribution over the amount of weeks remaining in the semester you are applying (in accordance with your start date at the child care provider).

For example:

1. Regular Tuition Rate Given by Child Care Provider:
$801/Monthly Rate quote is divided by 4.33 (average weeks in a month) = $185/week


2. $185/week (weekly rate quoted by child care provider

3. That weekly rate is multiplied by 75% Subsidy Award ($185 x 0.75) = $139/week covered by Penn State)

4. Multiply by # of weeks (remaining) in the current semester x $139 = $2,224 Total Award

5. $2,224 is divided into payment equally over the months and/or remaining weeks in the current semester:

  • August - $444.80
  • September - $444.80
  • October - $444.80
  • November - $444.80
  • December - $444.80

Payments are made directly from the Child Care Subsidy Program to the child care provider. Student parent is responsible to pay the remaining balance(s) directly to their child care provider.

If student parent changes child care providers during the semester of subsidy, a new subsidy could be granted and re-issued. Recalculation will be based on the process above, available funding, the new child care providers stated rates, and how many weeks remain in the current semester.

If I receive an award, when will my provider receive payment?

Your child care provider will invoice Penn State on a monthly basis and payments will be made to them directly after the invoice is processed. You will pay only the balance after the invoice is processed between your childcare provider and Penn State. Payments are never made directly to the student parent.

What happens to my information if I do not qualify or my subsidy has ended?

Student records are private & accessible by the Subsidy Coordinator and Director of Early Childcare as necessary to confirm financial aid status, enrollment, GPA, and graduation data. If a family does not qualify or a student has ended his/her subsidy, records are stored in a safe, secure location for at least 4 years.

For additional information about the Student Parent Child Care Subsidy program, please contact the Program Coordinator at [email protected] or (814) 863-3731. We are located at:
The Pennsylvania State University
Student-Parent Child Care Subsidy Program
The Child Care Center at Hort Woods
499 North Allen Road