The Alternative Payment Program can pay all or part of child care costs directly to the child care provider of their choice.
Child Care Payment Assistance
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, it free. ICES will never charge families for any of the direct services we provide. ICES does not charge families for services.
Yes! ICES AP is here to help out families. It doesn’t hurt to apply.
- It depends, if a provider charges a higher fee than ICES can pay, the family owes the provider the difference (this may be in addition to a Family Fee).
- If a provider charges for other things, such as food or diapers, it will be the family’s responsibility to pay for that directly to the provider.
- Each family’s financial situation varies, your potential child care costs will be discussed in detail during your enrollment appointment.
- Services will not start immediately.
- Current funding allows ICES AP to enroll most eligible families quickly. Many times the wait is due to families not submitting all requested documents. The sooner families submit the requested items the sooner your “Need” and Eligibility can be established.
Wait until a Document Request has been sent to you. That will have a checklist of what documents are needed to document your eligibility. Examples of requested items are: (note – document requests may be individualized for each family).
- Birth certificate for each child in the family under the age of 18.
- Employment Verification (a form provided by ICES AP).
- A Licensed Center
- Licensed Family Child Care home
- License Exempt Center
- After school programs, such as PM Clubs (Excluding free programs)
- A License Exempt Provider
- Family Member
Yes! California legislation allows for child care to take place in the family’s home. Let your Case Manager know if this is your choice.
- ICES AP pays providers directly via Direct Deposit or Check.
- Payments are sent after care has been provided and once ICES has received the Attendance Records. Payment will be made within 21 days of receiving the Attendance Records.
Absolutely; Eligibility and “Need” criteria such as income thresholds change from time to time, so ICES encourages families to re-apply to learn if changes result in eligibility.
The Alternative Payment Program is a child care subsidy program operated with the California Code of Regulations, Title 5, and Welfare Institution Code. California Department of Social Services provides ICES with funds for child care services that are paid directly to the families selected provider, on the parent’s behalf. ICES administers five separate contract types.
California Department of Social Services 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.
Click here for a downloadable copy of Alternative Payment Subsidized Child Care Program Policies for Participating Parents & Providers.