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Centralized Eligibility List

Families who need help paying for child care are encouraged to fill out an online application to be placed on the Centralized Eligibility List (CEL) for subsidized child care.


For detailed information about the CEL and how to apply, click on the questions below to display the information on how to begin the CEL process.


For technical assistance with your CEL application, please contact:  Maria Gutierrez 415.491.5704 or via email at

Qualifying Family Size and Income Level:

  • Family Size of 1 and/or 2, income limit up to: $6,008

  • Family Size of 3, income limit up to:  $6,842

  • Family Size of 4, income limit up to:  $7,941

  • Family Size of 5, income limit up to: $9,211

  • Family Size of 6, income limit up to: $10,482​

CEL Brochure (English and Spanish)

Download Brochure

(includes income guidelines)

Apply for the CEL (English)

Online Form

Download Application

Aplicar para la CEL (Español)

Formulario Online

Bajar la Solicitud

*Applying for the CEL does not guarantee subsidized childcare services. Enrollment is based on the availability of spaces, selection by the child care program, current and accurate family information, and timely response by the family who is notified of an opening.*

You can apply for the CEL online or you print and complete the application by clicking on the link above and sending it to the address listed on the application.

If you have a question about the CEL or need to update your application, you can contact the CEL Administrator at 415.491.5704

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Help Paying For Child Care

Paying for child care can be difficult. Need help paying for child care? If you do, you’re looking for "subsidized" child care. There are a variety of childcare programs in Marin County to help low-income parents. It’s important for you to start early to find a subsidized program for your child because there are more families who need help than there is money to pay for it. 
Marin Child Care Council offers different subsidized child care programs to help pay, fully or partially, for the cost of child care. To be able to benefit from these programs, parents must meet specific requirements depending on each program.​

CalWorks Stage 1 & 2

  • Are you a current CalWORKs cash grant recipient or have you received the grant within the last 24 months?

  • Are both you and any other adult living in the home working, seeking employment, or enrolled in a vocational training program?

  • Does your family's monthly income fall within these amounts?

      If your answer is YES, you may be eligible for child care service. 

  • Family Size of 1 and/or 2, income limit up to: $6,008

  • Family Size of 3, income limit up to:  $6,842

  • Family Size of 4, income limit up to:  $7,941

  • Family Size of 5, income limit up to: $9,211

  • Family Size of 6, income limit up to: $10,482​

To find out if you are eligible for CalWORKs call 1-877-410-8817


Once the CalWORKs families are no longer receiving Cash Aid for themselves, they are transferred to a Stage 2 CalWORKs program. Parents remain in Stage 2 until 24 months after they last received Cash Aid. At that point, they are transferred to a Stage 3 program. This is a closed process and only parents on CalWORKs are eligible for any of these programs.


These programs serve parents receiving cash aid (TANF). Parents who have worked their way off cash aid but are still low-income are also eligible. They are funded by both the state and federal government. New CalWORKs Cash Aid recipients go through a CalWORKs orientation. During the first few months after they attend this orientation, the child care (chosen by the parent) is paid for by a Stage 1 CalWORKs program.

Non- CalWORKs Programs

If your answer is NO to any of the above questions you may be eligible for services by completing an application on the Centralized Eligibility List (CEL), which is your first step to becoming eligible for other subsidized child care programs.


Alternative Payment Program

Along with housing, childcare is often the largest monthly expense for families. Marin Child Care Council offers a variety of childcare financial assistance programs for families who qualify based on income or family needs.  Families may be eligible regardless of immigration status.

Families admitted to Alternative Payment Programs funded by the California Department of Education must meet income requirements and have a need for child care.


Need is defined as:

  • Employment that precludes the supervision of children.

  • Seeking employment, up to 60 working days per fiscal year, per parent, for 29 hours or less per week.

  • Vocational training leading to a recognized trade, paraprofessional or profession with a maximum of 6 years of service or 24 units beyond a bachelor's degree.

  • Homeless and seeking housing

  • Incapacitated as verified by a legally qualified professional. May receive a maximum of 50 hours per week.

  • CWS and/or Child At-Risk as verified by a legally qualified professional.


To be eligible, the family’s gross monthly income can not exceed the 85% of the State Median Income.

We encourage all families to speak to a counselor who can understand your circumstances and help determine which programs are best matched to your family’s needs.

Subsidy Program Forms

You can reach our child care experts in-person, by phone or via email. Counselors are available Monday through Friday, hours depend on their work schedule.

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