Did you know graduate and professional students may be eligible to participate in subsidized childcare programs offered through the California Department of Education (CDE).

In 2017, the state legislature approved changes to state law that have broadened access for families to enroll in “Alternative Payment” (AP) programs. These changes include:

  • Increasing the income eligibility limit (including adjustments based on family size)
  • Enacting a continuous 12-month eligibility period

AP programs do not provide the actual childcare. Instead, parents can choose from eligible providers, and once an agreement is signed, the AP program reimburses the provider directly.

How to Apply

  1. Enroll with your local subsidy agency. BANANAS is the clearinghouse for AP and CALWORKS subsidies in Northern Alameda County, serving Oakland, Berkeley, Albany, Piedmont, Emeryville, and Alameda. Attend one of their workshops or contact their office to set up an appointment with a caseworker.
  2. Choose a program.
  3. Pay any applicable fees. Families may still be responsible for paying a monthly Family or Program Fee, which are determined by your caseworker.

To maintain enrollment you will be responsible for any applicable fees, consistent attendance, approving and signing monthly attendance sheets, and staying in touch with your caseworker about other requirements they may have.