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Finding Help to Pay for Child Care or Preschool

Financial assistance to pay for child care or preschool programs may be available to your family, though there is not sufficient State or Federal funding to help all low-income families who need it. Subsidies are available either through:

  1. Child care/preschool centers which have subsidized spaces, or
  2. Voucher-type (“Alternative Payment”) subsidies which parents can use in the child care program of their choice.

Both types of programs must use the same income-eligibility guidelines and sliding fee schedule, as determined by the California Department of Education (except for federal Head Start). The maximum household income level is approximately $48,000 per year for a family of 4 (lower for Head Start).

Applying for Assistance

To apply for payment assistance, families should:

  1. Contact 4Cs to apply for ACCESS (Alternative Payment voucher) program. See 4Cs' website (link to 'Paying for Child Care') or call 517-1400 for more information.
  2. Contact subsidized programs that match their needs (e.g. full- or part-day) to apply for infant/toddler, preschool, or school-age care. List of subsidized programs in Redwood City.


They are also indicated with ** on the lists of Redwood City programs:

Alternative Payment/Voucher Programs
This program is administered through the Child Care Coordinating Council of San Mateo County, Inc.(4C): 517-1400.

In addition, CalWORKS (welfare) recipients or those who were recently on cash-aid are eligible for child care assistance for a period of time. Contact your CalWORKS/TANF eligibility worker, or 4C at 517-1400.

Types of Subsidized Child Care/Preschool Centers

in Redwood City

State Preschool is a part-day preschool enrichment program, for 3- and 4-year old children, to prepare them for school. Parents do not need to be working to qualify, but must be low-income.

  • Redwood City School District offers State Preschool classes at a number of elementary school sites; call 366-6819 to apply.
  • CDI at Henry Ford and John Gill Schools

Head Start is a similar program for very low-income families, funded by the Federal government. Early Head Start serves children under 3 years. Additional health and social services and parent education for families are provided. Fair Oaks and 6th Ave. Menlo Park Head Start sites serve the Redwood City/North Fair Oaks community: 368-2698.


Full-day child development programs are available for low-income families who must work, or attend school or job training. Programs may serve any age groups from birth to 12 years. In Redwood City, the following programs have these funds:

  • Redwood City Child Development Program (12 months to 5 years): 780-7520
  • Redwood City School District CDCs: 366-6819
  • Footsteps Child Care: 610-0715
  • Child Development Incorporated (CDI, before and after-school care for Kindergarten to 6th grade, at Henry Ford and John Gill Schools): 368-1138/364-1178.

Teen Parent (Cal-SAFE)
Cal-SAFE provides child care to enable teen parents attend high school or community college. Peninsula Family Service provides the program for children birth to 2 years at Redwood High School, serving students in the Sequoia High School District: 306-1780.

Family Child Care Networks
Peninsula Family Service provides subsidized care in licensed Family Child Care Homes in Redwood City and other south county cities: 403-4300.

For more information, contact the Redwood City Child Care Coordinator, Kristen Anderson at 780-7336 or kmanderson@redwoodcity.org.

 

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