How to Pay for Daycare in California

By on March 6, 2020

All parents want to have affordable, quality child care. Over recent years, the cost of childcare has dramatically increased. It can be difficult to afford childcare for one child, let alone 2 or 3 or more. For comparison, the cost of infant care per year is more than a four-year public university. Thankfully, in California, if you find yourself in a position where you can’t afford daycare, then you may qualify for financial assistance. If not, there may be alternative methods you can consider. Whatever position you find yourself in, today we will be looking at how you can pay for daycare in California. 

Subsidized Childcare

Subsidized childcare is an assistance program that exists to help working parents who find themselves in a position where they can’t afford daycare. It is run by the state and federal governments to try and help working families afford childcare. State-funded voucher programs are the most well-known form of subsidized childcare for in-home childcare facilities and preschools. 

How to Apply

The application process takes a lot of time and patience, but it is worth it if you are successful. First, you need to enroll with your local subsidy agency by getting in touch with your local childcare resource and referral center. Then you can choose the childcare program you want. Once you are in, you will need to talk through the rules and payments with your caseworker.

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Maintenance of Care

If you become eligible for subsidized childcare, then you will be responsible for any applicable payments, a consistent rate of attendance, keeping in contact with your caseworker, and signing and approving monthly attendance sheets. Paying for fees is usually done through a Program Fee or Family Fee and will be determined by your appointed caseworker. 

Monthly Care Fees

The previously mentioned Program Fee and Family Fee are the two payments you will be responsible for if you are lucky enough to receive subsidized childcare. The caseworker will determine the amount you have to contribute on a monthly basis towards the care of your child. In California, your provider is allowed to charge a fee outside of the fee that is set by your local agency. This will be directly paid to them at the start of every month. This should be discussed with you before you enroll. 

Get a Loan

If you don’t or can’t get subsidized childcare, then there are some great daycare loans that you can consider. The loans provided by JumpStart Finance, for example, can offer fantastic childcare payment plans at your care center and can lower your monthly payments by up to 50%. You will need to speak to your desired care center to check they are registered before you go through with this option. 

Getting subsidized childcare is one of the best ways to make full-time daycare affordable for working families, but there are alternative options, like a daycare loan, that can be and should be considered. It all depends on how much time you have to sort it out and how eligible you are.

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How to Pay for Daycare in California