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Alternative Payment Program


About the Alternative Payment Program (APP)

The Alternative Payment Program (APP) assists low-to-moderate-income families with childcare costs on their path to becoming economically self-sufficient.  We believe in providing personalized service to help educate families on high-quality childcare options in their community.  Every child deserves the highest quality childcare and education. The APP supports parental choice of childcare for children from birth to twelve years of age.  Our goal at ECE is to be a "one-stop" shop for families providing a warm connection between resources.

The state Alternative Payment Program provides subsidies to pay for childcare in a location of the parent’s choice while the parent or parents are working, in school or in training, or seeking employment. APP can help families arrange childcare services and will make payments for those services directly to the childcare provider selected by the family.  The APP is intended to increase parental choice and accommodate the family's individual needs.  Recipients of this program are chosen based on income and need. Need verification is a requirement for participation in any of these programs.

If you need support paying for childcare, you may qualify!  Please contact one of our offices for more information.

APP Payments

Open Enrollment

Call your nearest office to enroll in our Alternative Payment Program! 

  • Santa Barbara Office (805) 964-4711 x 4458
  • Lompoc Office (805) 735-2064
  • Santa Maria Office (805) 352-0274

APP Resources

Qualifying for the APP

Recipients of this program are chosen based on income and need, and qualification requirements have recently changed to include higher income limits. You may qualify! Here is the {link} to the income ranking systems to see if your income qualifies.

You are pre-qualified if you already participate in the following programs:

  • Medi-Cal 
  • CalFresh 
  • California Food Assistance Program
  • California Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
  • The Federal Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations 
  • Head Start 
  • Early Head Start 
  • CalWORKs

Providers Covered by the APP

Family Childcare Home
This type of early learning and care program is offered in the home of the provider, who is often a parent, the owner, and licensed by the state. 

Childcare Center
This type of early learning and care program is often a facility that serves infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and school-age children on a part-day or full-day schedule. These centers are sometimes called “preschool programs” that are licensed by the state and include teachers with higher education in child development. 

Family, Friend, and Neighbor Care
This type of early learning and care setting is typically provided by a family member, friend, neighbor, relative, babysitter, or nanny in the child’s home on a part-day or full-day schedule. This type of environment is not licensed. For more information head to our Caregivers page!

TrustLine Certification

If the caregiver for a child is a friend or neighbor (not a family member) they must be on TrustLine's registry in order to receive payment from APP. 

TrustLine is California’s registry of in-home childcare providers, tutors, in-home counselors, and childcare staff at Ancillary Childcare Centers who have passed a background screening. All caregivers listed with TrustLine have been cleared through a fingerprint check of records at the California Department of Justice. This means they have no disqualifying criminal convictions or substantiated child abuse reports in California. 

  • For additional questions about TrustLine, visit their FAQ page 
  • To get cleared through TrustLine, begin the process here

Safe Registration

Your information is only used for our records. The Alternative Payment Program (APP) does not share any personal information relating to parents or their children with any other state or federal agencies unless given prior written consent or a subpoena.

Citizenship is not required for participation in ECE programs for families.

Click on each category to discover helpful resources and information:


We are here to help, give us a call!

Santa Barbara Office
(805) 964-4711 x 4458

Lompoc Office
(805) 735-2064

Santa Maria Office
(805) 352-0274


Janelle Willis
(805) 964-4710, ext. 4409

Monica Grimaldo
Alternative Payment Program Manager
(805) 352-0274

Dyan Bomer
Senior Administrative Assistant
(805) 964-4710, ext. 4409


Hope Office
3970 La Colina Road
Santa Barbara, CA 93160
(805) 964-4711 x 4458

Lompoc Office
104 South C Street, Suites G and H
Lompoc, CA 93436
(805) 735-2064

Santa Maria Office
722 E. Main St, Suite 201
Santa Maria, CA 93454
(805) 352-0274