California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) Alternative Payment Programs

California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) Alternative Payment Programs2020-09-21T02:22:50-07:00

CalWORKs (California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids) program is the state’s implementation of the federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program and it provides cash grants and Welfare-to-Work services for families to meet basic needs and assist the family’s move towards self-sufficiency.

CalWORKs Child Care Program was established in 1997 to provide subsidized services for cash-aid program participants and low-income families.

  • Enable low-income families to become self-sufficient

  • Improve low-income children’s cognitive and educational development

Subsidized Child Care is available for eligible CalWORKs families who:

  • Work or participate in an education or training program (Welfare-To-Work activity), therefore demonstrating a “need” for care.

  • Have a family income below 70% of the State Median Income (SMI). The state currently uses a SMI cap of $42, 216 for a family of three

  • Subsidized Child Care is available for CalWORKs ch@mayildren through age 12 and for exceptional needs and severely disabled children up to age 21.

Need and Eligibility Requirements

Need verification is a requirement for participation in any of these programs which means that the family is income-eligible and has a documented, independent verifiable need of Child Care services. There needs to be verification that there is no parent in the family capable of providing care for the family’s child and that supervision of the family’s child is not otherwise being provided by school or another person during the time that Child Care services is being requested. If there is a verified need, staff will assist parents in determining their eligibility status and the appropriate placement for their children in any of the following programs. The parent(s) shall document total countable income for all the individuals counted in the family size.

Enrollment Application

If you are interested in the Family Child Care Education Network (FCCEN)/Infant/Toddler Program (ITP), you must submit a CDR Eligibility Waiting List (CEWL) application.

Click here to download the application and instructions.


If you are on cash aid (welfare) at the present time, or have been in the last 24 months, you may be eligible for Child Care if you are also:
working, or attending school or vocational training, or seeking employment.

Based upon CalWORKs, eligible parents can obtain subsidized Child Care from the provider of their choice.

The CalWORKs Child Care Program is administered in three stages. Stage One is administered by the county cash-aid departments. Stages Two and Three are administered by Alternative Payment Program (APP) agencies under contract with the California Department of Education (CDE). The stages are intended to provide a smooth transition for families from short-term Child Care to stable long-term care needed for families to become self-sufficient.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I submit the CEWL application?2018-12-16T16:26:26-08:00

Send the filled application to our e-mail: info@localhost or bring it to us in person at:

Child Development Resources
221 E. Ventura Boulevard
Oxnard, CA 93036

Where can I find the application in English or Spanish?2020-07-09T22:39:59-07:00
I’m on cash-aid and can’t afford Child Care. How can I get some help to pay for it?2019-01-19T11:52:13-08:00

You need to get in touch with your eligibility worker with the county and notify your worker that you are in need of Child Care. Your worker should refer you to the CalWORKs Stage One Child Care contractor for the county, or if you have to apply for the Eligibility Waiting List, to Child Development Resources.

When will I know when it’s my turn?2018-12-19T18:00:53-08:00

You will be notified by phone or mail when funding becomes available. At that time your income, family size, and other information will be verified to assure that your family falls within the income rank we are currently enrolling. You will be asked to provide written documentation of your income; employment, school enrollment, and other information needed to determine eligibility for Child Care services. If we determine that your actual rank income puts your family higher than the ranks we are presently enrolling, your application will be returned to the Child Development Resources Eligibility Waiting List. You must have documented need for Child Care because you are working, seeking work, or attending school or training for all of the programs except for Head Start and State Preschool. If you do not have a valid need for Child Care at the time you are notified of enrollment, your application will be returned to the Child Development Resources Eligibility Waiting List unless you are being contacted by Head Start.

How long will I have to wait? I’ve been on your list for years. How come I’ve never been called to get on the program? What are my chances of getting my child (ren) in the program?2019-01-16T07:35:29-08:00

We cannot tell you how long you’ll have to wait on the Child Development Resources Eligibility Waiting List. When a person applies his/her name gets placed on a computerized waiting list. New families are enrolled when funding becomes available. This happens when families leave the program or when the agency receives new funds to expand the program. When we have openings (funding/money) available, the funding source requires us to enroll families starting with those with the lowest income.

Each applicant is responsible for keeping his or her application current. Failure to update will cause the family to be dropped from the Child Development Resources Eligibility Waiting List. You may call to update your information or to request an application whenever there’s a change in any of the following: Name, Address, Phone Number, Income, Marital Status, Family Size, Employment/Education.

What services does the program offer?2018-12-16T16:15:23-08:00

Eligible families who are certified for the Alternative Payment Program (APP) may choose Child Care of their choice with a licensed Child Care center or Family Child Care home, or with an unlicensed adult such as a relative, friend or neighbor who will care for the parent’s children only. Or, eligible families may be enrolled by a specific Child Care center.

In APP all Child Care providers must complete an approval process with the appropriate Alternative Payment Program (APP) agency and receive a provider agreement before they can receive reimbursement for children in their care. Children in the same family can have different Child Care providers. Parents can change Child Care arrangements with prior approval by the Parent Services Specialist. Depending on the parents’ needs, children can receive services full-time or part-time, as well as in the evening, overnight or on weekends. This program does NOT reimburse private school tuition for children attending kindergarten or elementary school. Only before-and-after school childcare, as well as full-time during off-track, summer or holiday periods can be reimbursed.

In a Head Start or center-based program, your child will be enrolled in a specific center; in some cases the child must be three or four years old. When your name is next on the Child Development Resources Eligibility Waiting List, the agency will explain which of these programs you are being enrolled in.

Who is eligible for the program?2019-01-19T12:01:55-08:00

Family eligibility is based on a variety of needs determined by state and federal regulations and local priorities. Eligible families are low income and except for Head Start, are also working, seeking employment, enrolled in education or job training programs, homeless or medically incapacitated. Child Protective Services may also refer children.

What do I do if I disagree with an any action pertaining to Child Care services?2018-12-10T22:39:22-08:00

Refer to the direction on the most recent Notice of Action. Refer to page 16 of the Parent Handbook.

When is a doctor note required for absences?2018-12-10T22:39:22-08:00

A doctor note is required after 5 days of consecutive absences. Refer to page 12 of the Parent Handbook.

Who documents attendance on the Child Care Attendance Sheet?2018-12-10T22:39:22-08:00

Both parent or provider document attendance. A parent’s signature/date is required verifying Child Care services were used at the end of the service month. The provider’s signature/date is required after the parent verifying all information on the Child Care Attendance Sheet is accurate prior to submitting to CDR.

Missing parent or provider signature may delay reimbursement or may be considered a non-reimbursement.

View sample Child Care Attendance Sheet

Who do I contact when the Child Care Attendance Sheet is not available for my provider?2018-12-10T22:39:22-08:00

Refer to your assigned Parent Service Specialist noted on the most recent Notice of Action.

What are clients required to report to their assigned Parent Services Specialist?2018-12-10T22:39:22-08:00

Clients are no longer required to report changes within 5 days.

Clients are required to report the following:

  • Report an increase in income that exceed the exit threshold 85% of the SMI
  • Request for the Family Fee to be re-assessed when there are changes in income
  • Request an increase or decrease in Child Care services hours as needed

Clients voluntarily report the following changes:

  • Phone number or address
  • Request a change of provider
  • Change in family size
  • Changes to schedules for authorization of Child Care services


How long are Child Care services certified for?2018-12-10T22:39:22-08:00

Child Care services are certified for 12 months, the duration of time Child Care services is certified will be noted on the Notice of Action and Notice of Communication provided to the client and provider.

How does a provider know Child Care services are certified?2018-12-10T22:39:22-08:00

Once eligibility and need are verified CDR’s decision to approve Child Care services will be communicated through a Notice of Communication and provided to the provider.

How does a client know Child Care services are certified?2018-12-10T22:39:22-08:00

Once eligibility and need are verified CDR’s decision to approve or deny Child Care services will be communicated through a written statement referred to as Notice of Action and provided to the client.

Who do I contact to change my Child Care provider?2019-01-30T22:07:13-08:00

Contact your assigned CDR Parent Services Specialist within 5 days. See the parent services page.

My activity has changed and I need more Child Care hours. Who shall I contact?2018-12-10T22:39:23-08:00

Contact your assigned CalWORKs case manager.  Call your assigned CalWORKs case manager at the offices listed on the Child Care assistance page.

My Stage One case was terminated due to an expired Child Care referral, how can I reinstate my Child Care? Who shall I contact?2018-12-10T22:39:23-08:00

Contact your assigned CalWORKs case manager.  Call your assigned CalWORKs case manager at the offices listed on the CalWORKs Locations page.

How do I receive Stage One Child Care services if I have never received it before?2018-12-10T22:39:23-08:00

Contact the CalWORKs offices listed on the Child Care assistance page for eligibility information.