Children Learning,
Parents Earning,
Communities Growing!

Child Care is Expensive

Paying for child care isn’t easy. The average cost of child care can reach over ten thousand dollars per child per year. But without it, you’re constantly depending on family and friends to help out, or missing work or school.

CDA’s Alternative Payment
Program Is Here to Help!

Low-income families, or those who are currently receiving or have received CalWORKS cash aid assistance within the last 24 months may be eligible for free or reduced cost child care services.

Assistance is available to families who live or work in San Diego County, meet our income and need requirements. Services for children ages 0-13 years or children with exceptional needs under 21 years of age.

Free or reduced
cost child care

Be able to afford the essential child care your family needs to thrive

You choose the provider right for you

Pick what works best for you and your family—a child care home, licensed center, or a trusted friend or relative

Maintain Reliable Child Care

Develop stability while you work or complete your education, so you can create a better life for you and your family

Here's How It Works

Step 1
Check Your Eligibility

Find out if your family is eligible for services using our
AP Calculator

Step 2
Enroll For Child Care Services

One of our friendly team members will help you apply and enroll for services

Step 3
Choose a Provider

Enroll an eligible provider that best suits your family’s needs

Step 4
Child Care Is Approved

CDA will authorize your child care schedule and the maximum reimbursement amount to your provider

Step 5
Child Care Begins

Your child starts care and continues to receive care for 12 months

Step 6
Submit Attendance Records

Attendance records are submitted to CDA monthly for provider reimbursement

Step 7
Provider Reimbursements

CDA pays your provider monthly on your behalf

If you have not received CalWORKs cash aid in the last 24 months, but meet one of the following eligibility criteria, you are eligible to receive services when an opening occurs:

  • Income eligible
  • Homeless
  • Child Protective Services (CPS) or at risk of abuse, neglect, or exploitation

If you are eligible for the program, your family must meet one of these need criteria:

  • Working
  • Looking for work
  • In school or job training
  • Medically incapacitated
  • Child Protective Services (CPS) or at risk of abuse, neglect, or exploitation
  • Homeless/seeking permanent housing
  • Receiving CalWORKs cash aid and participating in an approved Welfare-to-Work Activity

Find Out If You Are Eligible

Eligibility for CDA’s Alternative Payment Program is typically based on your family size and monthly gross income, plus meeting one of the needs criteria.

Parents love CDA’s Alternative Payment Program

“I am very grateful for this program. Honestly don’t know what I would do without it. Being a single mother is not easy and this program not only helps me keep a roof over my son’s head but also helps him receive the education he deserves. Thank you CDA.”

– CDA Alternative Payment Program Parent

Want to stay in touch?

Subscribe to our quarterly newsletter to receive CDA’s latest news and updates!