Paying For Care

Learn about choosing quality early care and education

Choosing who cares for your child is one of the most important decisions a parent can make. BrightStars was developed to help you select the best care for your child.

Finding Care

Search for Early Care, Education & After School Programs Online

Choosing an early care, education and after school program for your child is an important decision. A quality early care, education and after school program that provides a healthy environment and a wide range of enriching activities is important for your child’s growth and development.

BrightStars ratings help families make informed decisions when looking for quality early care, education and after school programs. Choosing who cares for your child is an important decision. Only you can make the right choice for your child and family.

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Child Care Assistance

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BrightStars Program Assistance

Like all parents, you want the best for your child, but paying for quality early care and education can be overwhelming. Planning ahead, getting more information, and using all of the resources available to you will get you off to a good start in making the best choice for your family.

Some early care and education programs may offer financial assistance to eligible families. This may vary by program and families are advised to contact the early care and education program directly.

  • Scholarships
    Early care and education programs may offer financial assistance/scholarships to families in need.
  • Sliding Fee Scale
    Some early care and education programs offer a fee reduction to families based on income and family size.
  • Sibling Discount
    Early care and education programs may reduce fees when caring for more than one child in the family.

Government Assistance

The government operates a number of programs and initiatives to help with early care and education affordability.

Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP)

The Rhode Island Department of Human Services (DHS) helps eligible working families pay for early care and education through the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP). To be eligible to receive child care assistance, families must meet income requirements. For families that participate in the Rhode Island Works Program, there is no income limit. Contact the DHS Info Line at (401) 462-5300 for more information or visit www.dhs.ri.gov

Head Start & Early Head Start

Head Start programs support children's growth from birth to age 5 through services that support early learning and development, health, and family well-being. Head Start staff actively engage parents, recognizing family participation throughout the program as key to strong child outcomes. Head Start services are available at no cost to children ages birth to 5 in eligible families. Head Start preschool services work with families with children ages 3 to 5. Early Head Start services work with families with children ages birth to 3, and many also serve expectant families. Many programs operate both Head Start preschool and Early Head Start services. Programs deliver child development services in center-based, home-based, or family child care settings. All Head Start programs continually work toward our mission for eligible children and families to receive high-quality services in safe and healthy settings that prepare children for school and life. https://dhs.ri.gov/programs-and-services/child-care/child-care-assistance-program-ccap-head-start/ccap-family, https://dhs.ri.gov/programs-and-services/child-care/head-start/head-start-eligibility-how-apply, https://ride.ri.gov/instruction-assessment/early-childhood-education/ri-pre-k

RI Pre-K

A free and voluntary program for four year-olds administered by the Rhode Island Department of Education. Visit the Rhode Island Department of Education for more information and a listing of programs in your community. https://ride.ri.gov/instruction-assessment/early-childhood-education/ri-pre-k

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