Many low-income families depend on government subsidies for child care expenses. BANANAS is the clearinghouse for these subsidies in Northern Alameda County. There are a number of different state and federally funded programs that help families pay for child care. These programs are intended to increase parental choice and accommodate the individual needs of the family. We advise parents as to whether they qualify and help parents sign up on our eligibility list.

PROGRAMS AND ELIGIBILITY

Stage 1 is administered by the California Department of Social Services through Alameda County Social Services. Stage 1 begins when a participant enters the CalWORKs grant welfare-to-work plan developed by for each family. Parents are eligible for the program if they:

  • currently enrolled in the CalWORKs program in Alameda County and receiving cash assistance
  • meet the income guidelines
  • have children up through age 12, (13-21 years old if child is special needs)
  • use child care in Oakland, Berkeley, Albany, Emeryville, Alameda, and Piedmont, and
  • need child care because they are employed, seeking employment, in a vocational training, seeking permanent housing, and/or incapacitated.

If you are currently receiving cash assistance for yourself, please contact Child Care Links at 925.417.8733. You will need to select a child care provider before you can enroll into the program. For help with finding a child care provider, call our child care resource and referral team at 510.658.7353 to discuss your child care options, or search our online  Child Care Referral Search form.

You qualify for this program if you received public cash assistance (welfare) for yourself within the past 24 months and meet the requirements listed below:

  • meet the income guidelines
  • have children up through age 12, (13-21 years old if child is special needs)
  • use child care in Alameda County, and
  • need child care because they are employed, seeking employment, in a vocational training, enrolled in school, seeking permanent housing, and/or
  • incapacitated

Families are enrolled into this program directly from Stage 2 services after their 24 months of eligibility has expired. Families must be transferred directly from Stage 2 and cannot have any break in services. Families remain on the Stage 3 program as long as they continue to meet the need and eligibility criteria below:

  • meet the income guidelines
  • have children up through age 12, (13-21 years old if child is special needs)
  • use child care in Alameda County, and
  • need child care because they are employed, seeking employment, in a vocational training, enrolled in school, seeking permanent housing, and/or
  • incapacitated

Child development services for children from birth through 12 years of age, and older children with exceptional needs, are available.

California Alternative Payment Program (CAPP)

The CAPP program helps pay for child care services for parents. As funding becomes available, the families that have the most need are enrolled into the program through a ranking system. Families are ranked by family size and household income. Families who have a child with special needs or who are receiving services through Alameda County Children & Family Services may have priority. Families remain on this program as long as they continue to meet the eligibility criteria. Parents are eligible if they:

  • meet the income guidelines,
  • have children up through age 12, (13-21 years old if child is special needs)
  • use child care in our service area, and
  • need child care because they are employed, seeking employment, in a vocational training, seeking permanent housing, and/or incapacitated

To enroll on our eligibility list, please call us at 510.658.7353 and speak to one of our child care resource and referral counselors.

Many families choose family and friends to care for their children over a licensed child care provider. When parents choose family members, friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc. to care for their child, your village becomes a support system in caring for your child. This is also a very cost effective choice since many parents also create cooperative child care agreements between each other and choose family members as caregivers.

Benefit to Parents: Children are cared for by a trusted family or friend. This type of care is usually more affordable for families.

The City of Berkeley helps pay for child care services much like the CAPP program. As funding becomes available, the families that have the most need are enrolled into the program through a ranking system. Families are ranked by family size and household income. Families remain on this program as long as they continue to meet the eligibility criteria. Parents are eligible if they:

  • meet the income guidelines,
  • have children up through age 12, (13-21 years old if child is special needs)
  • use child care in our service area, and
  • need child care because they are employed, seeking employment, in a vocational training, seeking permanent housing, and/or incapacitated

To enroll on our eligibility list, please call us at 510.658.7353 and speak to one of our child care resource and referral counselors.

PROGRAM INCOME GUIDELINES

STATE & FEDERALLY FUNDED CHILD CARE PROGRAMS

There are a number of state and federally funded child care programs where parents can enroll their child. If you are looking to enroll your child into one of these programs, start your search early as they tend to fill up. Here are the types of programs available for you.

Early Head Start
Early Head Start programs provide free learning and development services to children ages birth to 5 from low-income families. Early Head Start and Head Start welcome children with disabilities. They offer education, health, nutrition, mental health and developmentally appropriate activities for infants and toddlers, including children with special needs. Families must meet eligibility guidelines established by Head Start. Click here to find your local Early Head Start program

Note: Most of these programs offer part-day sessions and operate only during the public school year. Parent participation is usually required.

Head Start Programs
Head Start programs primarily serve 3- to 4-year-old children. Head Start programs promote the school readiness of children ages birth to 5 from low-income families by supporting their development in a comprehensive way. Click here to find your local Head Start program

Note: Most of these programs offer part-day sessions and operate only during the public school year. Parent participation is usually required.

Child Development Centers (CDC)
Child Development Centers provide services for children from ages birth to 12, and older for children with special needs. Very few CDCs serve infants and most serve children 3 and older. These programs generally offer full-day, full-year care.

State Preschool (Pre-K)
Part-day comprehensive developmental programs for three- to five-year-old children from low-income families. State Preschool programs do not require the parent to be working, looking for work, in training, incapacitated or going to school in order to qualify.

Transitional Kindergarten (T-K)
Transitional kindergarten is a school grade that serves as a bridge between preschool and kindergarten, functioning to provide students with time to develop fundamental skills needed for success in school in an age- and developmentally-appropriate setting. It is not called preschool because it is state-funded and is in the schools.

Special Note: Every licensed child care program is required to provide parents with information on its licensing history, including complaints substantiated by the Community Care Licensing. Feel free to ask for licensing documents. You can also contact the Community Care Licensing at 1.844.538.8766 or search online.

Related Links

Community Resources

California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs)
CalWORKs is a public assistance program that provides cash aid and services to eligible families that have a child(ren) in the home. The program serves all 58 counties in the state and is operated locally by county welfare departments.

WHO TO CONTACT

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Davida Pugh

Alternative Payment Manager

davida@bananasbunch.org
510.658.7353 x190

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Sue Retherford

Alternative Payment Manager

sue@bananasbunch.org
510.658.7353 x152

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Brian Woods

Alternative Payment Counselor

brian@bananasbunch.org
510.658.7353 x158

Deana-Williams.jpg
Deana Williams

Alternative Payment Coordinator

deana@bananasbunch.org
510.658.7353 x123

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Karina Kelly

Alternative Payment Counselor

karina@bananasbunch.org
510.658.7353 x156
Se Habla Español

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Michelle Luong

Alternative Payment Coordinator

michelle@bananasbunch.org
510.658.7353 x157
Tôi nói tiếng việt, 精通粵語國語

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Rosina Ng

Alternative Payment Counselor

rosina@bananasbunch.org
510.658.7353 x155
精通粵語國語

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Tina Fleeton

Alternative Payment Counselor

tina@bananasbunch.org
510.658.7353 x151

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