Child Care for Non CalWORKs Clients

The California Department of Education provides both State and Federal funds for subsidized child care. These funds are given to various agencies and State licensed child care centers to provide child care subsidies to parents of children who are receiving Protective Services or are at risk of needing these services and low-income families in need of child care. These funds are used for families who do not have a connection to the CalWORKs cash aid program.

I'm not receiving CalWORKs and never have, do I qualify?
You may qualify for child care assistance under State and Federal child care assistance programs (called Alternative Payment Programs) if:
  • Your family is receiving Child Protective services or is at risk of needing these service OR
  • You are a low-income working family and your child is under age 13 AND
  • You need child care because you are in one of the following activities:
    • Child Protective Services activities
    • Work
    • Vocational Training
    • Job Search
    • Homeless and seeking permanent housing

Where can I apply?
You can apply to any of the three Alternative Payment Programs (APPs) listed below. The Alternative Payment Programs receive limited funds each year and have waiting lists for families applying for their services. Their phone numbers are:
  • Contra Costa Child Care Council
    • West County - (510) 758-KIDY (5439)
    • Central County - (925) 676-KIDS (5437)
    • East County - (925) 778-KIDS (5437)
    • Child Care Line: 1 - 800-541-9922

Other Free or Low Cost Options
If child care is not available to you from the three Alternative Payment Programs listed above you may be able to get free or low cost child care from:
  • Community Services Bureau Head Start Program Enrollment Hotlines:
    • Central/East County - (925) 427-8852
    • West County – (510) 374-7144
  • School Age Children (6 years and older) - Check your area phone book for local phone numbers near you.
    • Schools for After School Programs
    • Boys and Girls Clubs
    • Police Activities League
    • Parks and Recreation Departments

Who may provide child care?
The parent/caretaker must decide who will provide child care and can choose between a licensed center, licensed family day care home, or an exempt-from-licensing provider. However, certain requirements must be met, including Trustline and Health and Safety clearances for exempt providers. If the child care provider is a parent or guardian of the child or is a member of the immediate family living in the home, child care payments will not be allowed.

How much is paid towards Child Care?
The State of California sets the maximum rate to be paid for child care. The child care amount is based on the age of the child, the type of care used, licensed or license-exempt, and the amount of time child care is needed. Each family's situation is evaluated individually and the rate set. Child care providers must charge subsidized families the same rate they charge a member of the general public. A family might need to pay a share of the cost if the gross family income is over a certain amount depending on family size.

Other Useful Links
The Local Planning Council to find more information about child care available in Contra Costa County -