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Early Childhood and After School Care

In most struggling families, both parents need to work to cover the cost of basic necessities. But the cost of care for their children while they work is often extremely high. In fact, for some families, it is the single biggest expense, eating up almost 30% of the household budget. For parents with an infant and a toddler, child care expenses in our region can be as high as $1,845 per month.

Even once children enter kindergarten, before and after-school care can take a chunk out of the family budget.

The consequence of these high costs: parents resort to placing their children in low-cost, unlicensed, and potentially dangerous child care situations. In fact, in 2016-2017, six infants died while in unlicensed care in Connecticut.

To reduce the cost of care for children ages birth to 5 and after-school care for children ages 12 to 18, United Way provides funds to make care in licensed centers more affordable.


  • United Way provides grant funding to high-quality, licensed child care centers and after-school programs.
  • Using the dollars they receive, the child care and afterschool providers reduce the cost of child care for struggling families, who otherwise could not afford to send their children to these quality centers.
  • United Way collects data from the providers, ensuring that all young children are being screened for developmental milestones and that school-age children are receiving quality care that will put them on the path to academic success.


1,483 children between birth and five years old received child care subsidies in 2018

75% of children achieve developmental milestones

2,855 children received after-school care


Learn how one mother who was facing a health crisis was able to keep her family on track, thanks to United Way child care funding.

Read about how a seven-year-old boy was able to get after-school care and build his literacy skills after a tragic accident.

Find out how after-school funding helped a kindergartner and his parents start a new life.

Early childhood care helps a toddler with two hard-working parents get the developmental help he needs.