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Dedicated - to Enriching Children's Lives

 Alternative Payment (AP)





The Alternative Payment Program (AP) is a subsidized child care program serving children from birth through twelve years of age. The program allows eligible parents to choose the type of care they feel best meets the needs of their family. CDA then reimburses the child care providers directly on behalf of the parents. 

Parents may select a licensed child care center, a licensed family child care home, a before/after school program, a legally licensed-exempt provider such as a relative (i.e., grandparent, aunt or uncle) or a friend or neighbor. 

To qualify for the Alternative Payment Program families must be low income or be a current CalWORKs cash aid recipient or have received CalWORKs cash aid within the past 24 months.

AP Process.pdfClick here to learn how the AP Process works (English & Spanish)

Click here to view the Program Philosophy and Goals & Objectives.

Eligible parents must be working, seeking work, incapacitated and/or attending school or some type of vocational training.  Families who are active CPS or have a child(ren) who is at risk of neglect or abuse may also qualify.

CalWORKs Families (current or former within the past 24 months)
Eligible parents must be working, seeking work, incapacitated, participating in an approved Welfare to Work Activity and/or attending school or some type of vocational training.

Income Guidelines
Eligibility for both low income and CalWORKs families also requires that the family meet income guidelines set forth by the State of California.

To determine if your family’s income falls within the allowable income guidelines look for your family size and gross (before taxes) monthly income  on the chart below. If your family’s gross income is less than the amount listed on the chart and you have a qualifying need you may be eligible for subsidized child care.

Families may continue to receive child care assistance until their child(ren) reaches age 13 (up to age 18 if the child has a documented exceptional need), they no longer have a qualifying need for child care services, and/or the parent's income exceeds California’s allowable income guidelines.

If you feel you meet the basic eligibility requirements you may apply for the Alternative Payment Program online at  For additional questions about the application process or about how to complete the application, contact the San Diego County Centralized Eligibility List at 1-800-521-0560. 



Family Size