As every working parent knows, reliable childcare can be essential to getting and keeping a good job, or accepting a promotion with better pay. But quality childcare can be expensive. Subsidies are available to help with the cost but there have been waiting lists for subsidy for some child age groups. Childcare can fall through if the provider is sick, or if your child is sick and not allowed to go to childcare. And applying for benefits or taking advantage of the many helpful programs and services available can be much more difficult with childcare.


  • Apply for a subsidy to offset the cost of childcare. Visit to check current eligibility guidelines, status of waiting lists, and instructions on how to apply.
  • There are free, high-quality child development options in Mecklenburg for low-income families. Head Start serves eligible children ages 0-5, while Meck PreK and Bright Beginnings are available for eligible 4 yr-olds. This site is your starting point for program and eligibility information and application.
  • Some employers offer a childcare subsidy for their employees who need help with childcare costs. Others may offer an emergency childcare option for short-term problems with available childcare. This is something you can ask your Human Resources department about.