The Alternative Payment Program, funded by the California Department of Education, supports income eligible parents through partial or fully subsidized child care payment. This chart outlines the eligibility for subsidized child care payments based on family size and income. Please note that this information is periodically updated.
Apply for Child Care Subsidy
Once You are Determined Eligible
Enrollment in the Alternative Payment (Child Care Subsidy) Program will depend on the following:
Do you have a child care provider?
We cannot begin services until you have selected a child care provider and you have secured a spot in the child care program for your child/children. It is okay to utilize more than one provider if necessary if one is not available during all of the hours you need, or if you have children going to different providers. Our Resource and Referral staff can also give you a list of local child care providers and share information and resources about selecting child care.
Is the provider you have selected already participating in the Alternative Payment Program with ICES?
If not, we will need to meet with that provider to enroll them in our Alternative Payment Program before we can begin services.
Is there a waiting period to receive subsidized child care?
As mandated by state regulation, when applications are received, each family’s application is ranked for priority of enrollment. This ranking is based on income, family size, and certain risk criteria. Regulation requires us to enroll families first according to priority ranking. Sometimes that means that a family may be enrolled before another family who has been on our eligibility list longer because they have a lower income and/or more family members, or has a special need that gives them a higher priority for enrollment.
Additionally, depending on our child care subsidy funding, there may be times when the need of parents requesting child care payment assistance is greater than the amount of funding ICES has available. When this happens, families will experience waiting periods.
The State of California determines how the Alternative Payment Program is to be administered. Our Program Policies booklet is helpful for both parents and child care providers in understanding the guidelines and boundaries of this program.