Help Paying for Child Care

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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. They are identified with ** on these 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 eligibility worker, or 4C at 517-1400.

Types of Subsidized Child Care/Preschool Centers in Redwood City

State Preschool

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

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

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. (No subsidized center in Redwood City currently serves infants under 12 months.) 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 (3-4 year olds)
  • 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 Parents

Child care enables teen parents to 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.