Child Care Information Services

Child Care Information Services (CCIS) of Columbia, Montour & Northumberland Counties assist families in the area with finding and paying for quality child care programs.

CCIS offers:

  • Customized computer searches to find certified child care providers who can meet your family’s needs.
  • Information on what to look for when choosing quality childcare.
  • Applications for subsidized childcare funding-must meet specific guidelines established by the PA Department of Human Services.
  • A Family Resource Directory of local agencies and services.

When choosing quality child care, many factors affect your decision.  CCIS has the information you need to make an educated decision.

Who is eligible for subsidy?

Eligibility for financial assistance is determined by the following criteria:

A “family”, for the purposes of this program, is considered to include the following persons:

All children and their parent(s).  (Live-in-companions are not counted in the family unless they are the biological parent of the child.)

The parent(s) or guardian(s) in the household must be employed at least 20 hours per week. If the parent is in an education or training program, working 10 hours along with 10 hours of school/training can be counted toward the 20 hours requirement.

Subsidized child care is child care paid for by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) through a grant to Danville Child Development Center. We must follow state guidelines to determine who is eligible. Parents pay a copay based on family size and income.

Income Guidelines

For more information on Subsidy and guidelines, please visit Child Care Works.

Regulated Options

Family Daycare Homes

  • Provider is licensed by with the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS).
  • Care for up to six unrelated children in home setting.
  • Inspected prior to opening and annually for minimum health and safety standards.

Group Daycare Homes

  • Program is licensed by Pennsylvania DHS.
  • Care for up to 12 unrelated children with two caregivers.
  • Inspected prior to opening and annually for minimum health and safety standards.

 Daycare Centers 

  • Program is licensed by Pennsylvania DHS
  • Care for 12 or more unrelated children with various ratio requirements
  • Inspected prior to opening and annually for minimum health and safety standards.

Unregulated Options

Unregulated Home-Based Care

  • Caregiver must be blood relative of children, grandparent, great grandparent, aunt, uncle, sibling over 18 years, not living in home.
  • Required child abuse clearance
  • FBI fingerprinting

KeystoneSTARS (4)

As you search for quality child care, reach for Keystone STARS. Choosing the right child care for your family is a huge decision, but chances are you have to make this decision right away – and it has to be close and not cost too much. Keystone STARS helps you know what to expect when picking a program. Child care programs that participate in Keystone STARS meet standards for teacher quality, classroom and learning activities, working with you to support your child, and managing their program.  Programs can earn from one to four Stars –   the more Stars, the higher the quality. You know that they are meeting certain quality standards by their STAR rating – it can help narrow your search and get you to the right program faster.  Visit www.papromiseforchildren.com and select “Keystone STARS” for more information.

When you are looking for a child care facility, below are a few things to keep in mind.

Before your visit:

  • Decide on the needs of your family and ask the following questions:
  • Do I want a child care center or a family child care home?
  • How far do I want to travel to drop off and pick up my child?  Should it be closer to work or closer to home?
  • What are the center’s or family child care home’s hours of operation?
  • What do the children do all day at the center or child care home?
  • Do I know any families who have children attending this center or child care home?
  • How much can I afford to pay?

Visiting the center or home:

  • Call for an appointment with the director or home provider.
  • Make sure you visit the center or home at last twice before making a decision.
  • Visit at different times of the day to see what the children do in the morning, at lunch, nap time, or in the afternoon.
  • In a center, the staff you see in the morning is often different from the staff you’ll see in the afternoon.
  • Spend time observing the classroom during free time and during organized activities.

Things to ask about:

  • How long have the providers worked there?
  • Do the children get to choose from a wide variety of activities and work on them at their own pace?
  • What is the method of discipline used?
  • How many children are being cared for by one person?
  • Do children spend most of the day playing (instead of watching TV)?
  • Can you visit at any time without calling first?
  • How will you hear about your child’s day-by talking with the provider or in writing?
  • Does the center or home provide lunch and snacks or does the parent send food from home?  If they provide it, is the food healthy?
  • How often do the children go outside?
  • How does the staff approach potty training?
  • Where will my child take a nap?
  • Is the caregiver with the children when they are resting or napping?
  • During what hours is the center or home open?
  • How much does it cost and are there any additional fees?
  • Do the providers attend training? If so, on what topics and how often?
  • Does the center or home sponsor parent nights and parent programs?
  • What happens if my child gets sick and cannot attend?

Look for:

  • A clean center or home with lots of child-made decorations at the children’s height.
  • A cheerful atmosphere.
  • Caregivers who smile and play with the children.
  • Providers who look at the children when they talk to them.
  • A variety of toys and supplies that are right for your child’s age.
  • Caregivers who encourage children to do things for themselves.
  • Caregivers who respect children and each other.
  • Lots of books and story times.
  • Soft areas where the children can relax.
  • Patient child care providers.
  • Lots of laughter.
  • Children who are encouraged to be creative.

 After your child begins child care:

  • Talk with the caregivers often.
  • Keep emergency information current.
  • Know what you will do for child care if your child gets sick.
  • Work together with the caregiver to meet your child’s needs.
  • Raise concerns with the center director or home provider as soon as they arise.

Information provided by The Penn State Cooperative Extension Better Kid Care Program brochure “Choosing Child Care:  A Guide to Selecting Quality Care for Your Child”.

For more information about CCIS, please call (570) 275-3996 or 1-866-698-2247.

The CCIS has 2 offices open M-F 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

398 Wall St. Danville, PA and

1070 Market St. 2nd floor Sunbury, PA

Appointments in Berwick available by appointment only.