Alternative Payment Program and CalWORKs Stages 2 and 3

Children’s Services Unit (CSU) receives state and federal funding to provide programs to assist low-income families with the cost of child care services. The Alternative Payment Program and CalWORKs Stages 2 and 3 are operated by CSU and serve nearly 5,000 children in Riverside County. These programs allow parents to choose from a variety of child care options to best meet the needs of their children. Child care may be provided in:

  • Licensed child care centers
  • Licensed family child care homes
  • License-exempt homes that meet program requirements

Alternative Payment Program

  • Provides child care assistance for low-income families
  • Serves children 0 to 13 years of age
  • Families must meet program eligibility and need criteria which is reviewed and verified at least once per year
  • Families are enrolled from the CSU Eligibility List (EL) based upon most eligible first
  • For more information regarding the Subsidized Program or to request an application for the EL, please call (800) 442-4927. The EL application may also be accessed via the following links: CSU Eligibility List Application (English)CSU Eligibility List Application (Spanish)

CalWORKs Stages 2 and 3

  • Provides child care assistance for low-income families who previously received public cash assistance through the Department of Public Social Services
  • Serves children 0 to 13 years of age
  • Families must meet program eligibility and need criteria which is reviewed and verified at least once per year
  • Stage 2:  Families may qualify for CalWORKs Stage 2 by documenting that they have been off of public cash assistance for less than two years.  Families may be eligible for these services for up to two years after they no longer receive public cash assistance.  If child care services continue to be needed after the two-year period ends, eligible families may qualify for Stage 3 child care services.
  • Stage 3:  Families may qualify for CalWORKs Stage 3 if they transfer directly from a Stage 2 program.  Families may continue to receive child care services through this program as long as funding is available and they continue meet need and eligibility criteria and program requirements.