(650) 517-1400 Child Care Referrals: Online (650) 517-1460

Paying for child care can be a financial burden for many families. In San Mateo County, a number of child care programs exist to support families in need. Each program typically has their own application process and possibly a waiting list. We encourage families to apply for all programs that interest them. 

4C's Alternative Payment Program

4Cs provides subsidized care (financial assistance) to families who meet income and eligibility requirements set by the California Department of Education, Child Development Division. Our program allows parents to use the child care provider of their choice as long as that provider meets eligibility requirements.

Applying is easy! The chart below determines income eligibility. If your income is below the maximum amount for your family size, please complete an ACCESS application (English| Spanish) and submit to 4Cs via mail, fax, or in-person.

The ACCESS application will add you to our subsidized care eligibility list. Our staff will contact you when funding is available. If you have been on cash-aid within the last 24 months, please contact us at (650) 517-1400, because you may be eligible for immediate assistance.

Family Size 1-2 3 4 5 6 7 8 or more
Maximum income limit $6,008 $6,842 $7,941 $9,211 $10,482 $10,720 $10,958

Income guidelines may change or vary under special circumstances. (California Department of Education and the Administration for Children and Families – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.)

Have more questions?

Take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions

In addition to subsidized child care (Title 5, Vouchers, Head Start), some programs offer scholarships, sliding fee scales based on income, multiple child discounts, or other forms of assistance.  

Download and review the List of Subsidized Child Care Programs for more details. 

We are here to help!

Contact us at (650) 517-1400.