School Readiness (Financial Assistance Program)

kids learning

What is the School Readiness program? Tell me more. 

ELC Broward offers School Readiness, a financial assistance program that helps low-income eligible families obtain affordable, high-quality child care in Broward County. Priority for school readiness program participation is given to: children whose parents are economically disadvantaged, children who have been determined to be at risk of abuse, neglect, or exploitation, and children with special needs.
ELC Broward and our community partners work together to ensure children in Broward County can access the support and resources needed to be ready to enter school and succeed.

Do you need help paying for child care? Apply here!

Eligibility is determined by parents’ gross income and must not exceed 150% of the federal poverty level. Families pay a copayment for child care based on income and family size. 

View the 2021-2022 Sliding Fee Scale Chart 

School Readiness child care assistance is available to parents or families who:

  • Are working or participating in an educational activity such as attending college or trade school at least 20 hours per week
  • Are receiving benefits from the Social Security Administration's disability program

You may apply for School Readiness services by clicking here:  Family Portal

Once you apply your application is reviewed and you are contacted by Email. If you are potentially eligible, you are placed on the waitlist until enrollment takes place, depending on availability of funding. Once funding for School Readiness becomes available, it is distributed based on the date of the approved application.

Preliminary documentation is required before your application will be validated:
Income verification form (new job or paid by cash)

  • Verification of Employment form can be obtained by going to
  • Pay stubs (last 4 weekly pay stubs, last 2 pay stubs if paid bi-weekly or semi-monthly, or last pay stub if paid monthly)
  • Self-employment documentation (most recent tax return or YTD  (Year-To-Date) business records with invoices and receipts for expenses)
  • Education documentation (enrollment verification and schedule or ELC education/training form)
  • Social Security disability documentation statement from physician and SS award letter

How long will I be on the waitlist? 
Children are enrolled based on priorities set by the state and the date they applied. The number of children on the waitlist is continuously updated on our  website.

How do I find my placement on the waitlist?
Though we wish we could tell you, it’s not possible to give you an exact "number" of where you are on the wait list. 

Why is that?

  • The factors that determine this information change, such as:
  • Amount of funding available from state and local resources
  • Number of currently-funded children who leave care
  • Age of your child(ren)
  • Purpose for care
  • County of residence, and
  • Number of children and their priority on the waitlist ahead of you

If you move and have a new address or change your phone number or other contact information, be sure to update your records with us at 954-377-2188 or send an Email to

Our trained Child Care Resource and Referral team is available to assist you, at no cost, to discuss available options while you wait. Call us at 954-377-2188 Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. or Email