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County Assistance Office


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The Early Learning Resource Center for Region 8 provides assistance to CAO families who need child care due to work, work-related training and/or attending school. Funded by the PA DHS, OCDEL, subsidized Child Care is paid for in part with tax dollars from the State and Federal government.

In order to qualify for this benefit program, you must be a parent or primary caregiver responsible for children under the age of 13 years of age; and must be referred to the ELRC for child care assistance by the CAO.  In order to qualify, the CAO will determine if a TANF recipient has a need for and is eligible for a child care allowance to enable the parent/caretaker to participate in a CAO approved training/work-related activity (EARN) that is typically at the local CareerLink.  

Anyone who receives cash assistance and is able to work, must look for work, accept any real offer of employment, and keep the job. This process begins with an initial job search. You can participate in an initial job search with help from a caseworker at your local CAO Office (listed below).

What is Subsidized Child Care?

Funded by the PA DHS, OCDEL, subsidized Child Care is child care service paid for in part with tax dollars from the State and Federal government to help aide parents and/or caretakers (P/C) with the cost of child care expenses so that a P/C can go to work and/or obtain education/training.

Families who receive child care benefits as a special allowance through the County Assistance Office (CAO) will have their child care providers reimbursed by the Early Learning Resource Center (ELRC).

Employment Advancement


Retention Network

EARN is designed to assist clients in their transition from welfare to the workforce. The focus of all programming is to decrease dependency on public assistance and move towards self-sufficiency. While the primary focus of the program is to move clients into the workforce, the program is still to provide other activities that will aid in the pursuit of that goal.

Eligibility Criteria

County assistance office (CAO) staff will determine eligibility for the EARN program and refer clients to EARN based on CAO policy and procedures. Individuals eligible for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), excluded from Diversion, may be referred to the EARN contractor. The hours of participation are determined by the household composition for TANF.


  • TANF Clients, you may be eligible for Former TANF benefits, with no gap in funding if you are meeting the work hour requirements when your TANF case closes.

  • Food Stamp Clients, you will need to apply for low income funding (there could be a waitlist) and there could be a gap in funding.


You can reach your CAO case worker through the Call Change Center at

(877) 395-8930

Or though you local County Assistance Office

Centre County (814) 863-6571

Juniata County (717) 436-2158 

Mifflin County (717) 248-6746

Northumberland County (570) 988-5900

Snyder County (570) 374-8126

Union County (570) 524-2201

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