For more information, please visit the Arkansas Better Beginnings link below.

Help Paying For Child Care

Child Care Assistance (vouchers) is a program that is available to low-income families. The program provides financial assistance for quality child care and early childhood education and is made possible by the Child Care Development Fund (CCDF). To qualify, families must meet the following criteria

  • Meet the established income guidelines.
  • 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.​
  • Have an eligible child. Our program serves children from birth through 12 years of age.​
  • To apply for for Child Care Assistance, you may print and complete the Child Care Assistance Application, request an application by contacting the local Program Eligibility Specialist, or you may contact the Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education at 1-800-322-8176 and an application will be mailed to you. 

Early Head Start is a program that serves pregnant women and families with children from birth to three years of age. These programs were previously offered only as partial-day programs for part of the year. Currently, however, they are moving to serving children during a full day and full year schedule. Early Head Start programs enhance children’s physical, social, emotional and intellectual development and assist pregnant women to access comprehensive prenatal and postpartum care.

Head Start is a free, federally-funded program serving children ages three to five from low-income families through education, health, social and other services. Head Start programs must follow extensive federal requirements and are often also licensed by the state in which they operate. You can learn more about these programs by visiting the Head Start website. You’ll find more information on the kinds of comprehensive services that are offered once a child is enrolled. You can also read about how to find out if you are eligible for services.

Arkansas Better Chance (ABC) programs are high quality programs that serve children, ages birth to five, with a variety of risk factors. However, the majority of availability is for three and four year old children. Providers are selected for their ability to offer a high-quality program. These abilities are assessed annually by early education professionals who evaluate the applications, and a complete program review is done at least once every three years.

Child Care Tax Credit: If you have paid for child care at an Arkansas licensed/registered Better Beginnings program and you meet the requirements for claiming the Federal Child Care Tax Credit, you may qualify for a refundable state tax credit. The Arkansas Early Childhood Tax Credit differs from the Federal Child Care Tax Credit, because it is refundable. If your credit is more than the taxes you owe, you will get a refund.

If you have questions or just want to talk with someone about the types of child care available within your local community, you can call us at 1(501) 760-6586, or email us at We can provide you with local resources and the information needed to make the best choice for your child.