Frequently Asked Questions​

We don’t know. We understand how frustrating it is to wait when you need help right away.

We wish we can give you a clear answer, but it depends on how much funding is available at the moment.

The truth is some families wait weeks, months, or even years.

The good news is when you submit one application with us, we share your application with up to 4 different agency partners. These 4 agency partners work very hard to serve as many families as possible. As funding and openings become available, they’ll contact you as soon as possible.

It is important that you keep your application current. Even if there are no changes to your information, we encourage you to log in, review, and save your application every 3 to 5 months.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to get “bumped up” on the list.
However, if your child is in a dangerous situation or harmful environment, contact us immediately.

The State grants preference to families that have an active Child Protective Services case in order to remove children from a harmful environment.

It is important that you keep your application current. Even if there are no changes to your information, we encourage you to log in, review, and save your application every 3 to 5 months.

Subsidized childcare is help with paying for child care or daycare. You can qualify depending on your monthly gross income, family size, and need. Families who are referred by Child Protective Services may have priority.

Qualifying for subsidized child care assistance is based on 3 factors

Your gross monthly income from all sources (before taxes),  family size, and need.

In addition, families must live in San Diego County to qualify.

Gross monthly income means income from all sources, including earnings from employment before taxes are withdrawn, child support, commission or bonuses, earnings received for rent, etc. 

Here’s a table to help.

Family Size1-23456789101112

For example:

If you’re a family of 4 (two parents and two kids) and you have a monthly gross income of about $7,441.00 before taxes, then you may be eligible for financial child care assistance.

See if you’re eligible, to use our eligibility calculator.

If any one of these situations describes your family, you may qualify for financial child care assistance.

(a) Working
(b) Looking for work
(c) Medically incapacitated
(d) Attending school or in training
(e) Receiving Child Protective Services (CPS)
(f) Part-day educational preschool
(g) Seeking permanent housing

Yes, any family can complete the application with zero income.

However, you’ll be required to submit a self-declaration explaining how your family is financially supporting itself without income.

Maybe. It depends on your family’s situation.

Some families don’t have to pay anything. While other families pay a reduced cost for child care or daycare.

But you may be required to pay a parent fee.

Ask your enrollment worker when they call for an interview. In most cases, the family fee is a small percentage of the total cost of child care.

Whatever your situation, we’re here to help ease your financial burden.

Yes. Absolutely! You deserve all the help you can get.

We’re here to educate you on all possible options to ease the financial burden off your family.

One program we highly recommend is called Head Start. Head Start receives funding from the federal government to assist eligible families with a part-day and in some cases, full-day preschool for children.

NHA Head Start – Central: (888) 873-5145
AKA Head Start – East County: (619) 444-0503
ECS Head Start – South Bay: (619) 228-2800
MAAC Head Start – North County: (760) 471-4210

Contact Head Start to inquire about program requirements.

For other types of financial assistance aside from child care, contact 2-1-1.

Families currently receiving CalWORKs assistance that includes adults and children should contact their county employment services worker for child care and/or call one of the agencies listed below. Families who have received CalWORKs within the last 2 years may call one of the agencies listed below to see if they qualify.

Child Development Associates, Inc.(CDA) 619.427.4411 ext. 1400

YMCA Childcare Resource Service 619.474.4707 ext.2485

Try not to think of Rank as your waiting number.
Rank is an indicator of a family’s priority of when they might get help with child care. The lower ranks, like 1-5, are going to get called first before higher ranks like 6-10.

Rank is based on how many people are in your family and how much money you make. For example:

A family of 3 with an income of $64/month will rank 1.
But another family of 3 with an income of $919/month might rank 10.

This is why we stress the importance of keeping your application updated. Keep us updated on your family’s situation.

Unfortunately, we’re unable to give you that information. We understand how hard it is to wait until an agency calls you. Rest assured, our agencies work hard to help families like you find the financial assistance you need.

We’re doing the best we can to get to you.
In the meantime, here’s the one thing you can do to make things easier when an agency calls you.

Find the best child care or daycare provider you want for your family. So that when an agency calls you, we can process your application much faster.

Many parents make the mistake of not knowing their child care or daycare of choice when an agency calls. This can result in more delays, or even losing your priority.

The YMCA Childcare Resource Service (CRS) is the local Resource and Referral (R&R) agency in San Diego County. They can help you identify child care providers in your area.

Contact YMCA CRS and speak to a R&R Consultant to search for providers near your home, school, or work area. They can send you a list of providers for you to visit and begin your search for care.

YMCA Childcare Resource Service: (800) 481-2151

You can also search online.

You can choose the child care that best meets your family’s needs. We recommend you research the different subsidy programs and provider types available. 

Subsidized Child Care Programs

The following are free or reduced-cost child care programs available for income eligible families:

  • Early Head Start / Head Start Program
  • California State Preschool Program (CSPP)
  • Family Child Care Home Education Network (FCCHEN)
  • Alternative Payment Program (APP)

Child Care Types

The following provider types have different ratios, capacity, health and safety standards and requirements: 

  • Licensed Child Care Centers
  • Licensed Family Child Care Homes
  • Family, Friend, or Neighbor

Get support paying for child care.


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