Skip to content

Free or Low Cost Child Care Programs

Free or Low Cost Child Care Programs You Can Benefit From

Subsidized Child Care programs help families pay for child care costs for all children age 12 and younger. There is a common requirement for all the subsidized child care programs, which is that a family income must be within the following income eligibility limits:

Family Size
1-2
3
4
5
6
7
8
Maximum Gross Monthly Income
$3,283
$3,518
$3,908
$4,534
$5,159
$5,276
$5,394
Help is available from the following Subsidized Child Care programs:
  • CalWORKs Stage 2:

    The CalWORKs Stage 2 Program serves children from ages 0 to the day before a child's 13th birthday. Parents are able to select the child care provider of their choice. Program requirements:

      • The head of the household must be a current CalWORKs cash grant recipient or have received the grant within the last 24 months
      • The head of the household and any other adult living in the home must be working, seeking employment or enrolled in a vocational training program
      • The family must be income eligible (See Income Eligibility Table)

  • CalWORKs Stage 3:

    Families enrolled into Stage 3 are transferred to this program after 24 months of being off of the CalWORKs cash grant. There is no enrollment for this program unless you are a direct transfer from another CalWORKs Subsidized Child Care Program in any other county in California. Families terminated from Stage 3 cannot be re-enrolled back into this program.
    If you have been off of the CalWORKs cash grant for more than 24 months or have never received the grant, you may be eligible for the following programs.

      • Register with the 4C Centralized Eligibility List (CEL)
      • Meet the family income eligibility requirements

  • California Family Child Care Network (CFCC):

    The California Family Child Care Network is a limited provider choice program serves children from infancy until the day before the child enters Kindergarten. Parents may choose from participating Family Day Care Home providers in designated zip codes. This program focuses on the growth, development, and specific needs of infants, toddlers and preschool age children.

  • California Alternative Payment Program (CAPP):

    The California Alternative Payment Program serves children 0 to the day before a child's 13th birthday. Parents are able to select the child care provider of their choice. Additional Program requirements are that the head of the household and any other adult living in the home must be working, seeking employment, seeking permanent housing or enrolled in a vocational training program.

  • California Center Based Program (CCTR):

    The California Center Based Program is a limited provider choice program that serves children from infancy through the day before the child's 13th birthday. Children between the ages of 2.9 to entry into Kindergarten can be served in the 4C Council Child Development Center. The child care center is developed to prepare children for entry into Kindergarten. Infants and school aged children can be served in a participating Family Day Care Home if spaces are available.

  • California State Preschool (CSPP):

    The 4C Council also offers the California State Preschool Program (CSPP) which serves pre-Kindergarten children 3-4 years old. The State Preschool program has full-day and part-day services at 4 locations and focuses on school readiness and child development. Families do not have to be working or training in order to qualify for the part-day program. The State Preschool is offered at our Summerwind, Dorsa, Northside, and Checkers sites. See here for more information about these locations.

  • Early Head Start (EHS):

    The Early Head Start (EHS) program serves children between birth and 3 years of age. Childcare services are provided by licensed family day care providers and are accompanied by regular visits and assessments by a child development specialist to ensure that children are meeting age-appropriate developmental milestones. See here for more information.

Sign up to receive our e-mail newsletter and news alerts from 4C Council