Pittsburgh Zoning Code Update for Child Care Centers


  • Physical Space and Facilities

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

In March 2024, the Pittsburgh City Council amended the City of Pittsburgh’s zoning code to allow more home-based child care providers to open and operate, thus increasing families’ access to quality child care. 

Specifically, the change allowed facilities that care for up to six children in neighborhoods zoned for single-family residential use, as well as accessory structures, to operate without obtaining a special exemption. It also eliminated off-street parking requirements for such facilities.


Felton, J. (2023). Proposed zoning change would make it easier to open child cares in Pittsburgh residential areas. Pittsburgh Tribune Review.

Trying Together. (2024). Council Approves Zoning Changes to Support Pittsburgh Home-Based Child Care Providers.

Connections to Key Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) Findings:

High-quality, affordable early education and care supports children’s healthy development and allows families to work, engage in their own educational pursuits, and/or participate in other aspects of community life. To support children and families in these instrumental ways, research suggests there is a need to expand the availability of early education opportunities across the mixed-delivery system.

Findings from the Early Learning Study at Harvard (ELS@H) show:

  • Families rely on a range of formal (e.g., Head Start, center-based care, public pre-K) and more informal (e.g., home-based, relative care) early education settings; when choosing a setting for their child, families balance many logistical constraints and personal preferences.
  • But for many families – and especially low- and middle-income families – early education choices remain tightly constrained due to issues of affordability and supply.
Learn More About ELS@H Findings

Learn more about Pittsburgh

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  • The city population is 303,255
  • The percentage of children under age 5 is 4.50%
  • The median household income is $60,187