Help Paying for Child Care / CEL

Subsidized Child Care

Subsidized child care is financial assistance to eligible families for child care costs.  Many organizations in Sacramento County provide child care subsidies but they often have waiting lists. To make it easier to find families in need of child care subsidies, a number of subsidy organizations participate in the “Childcare Eligibility List” (or CEL) which is a wait list maintained by Child Action, Inc. of families who have completed an application for subsidized child care programs. There are also subsidy agencies that do not participate in the CEL (see links on this page). To be placed on waiting lists for any of these programs, please contact the organization directly.

Child Action, Inc.’s Subsidized Child Care

Eligibility for Child Action, Inc.’s subsidized child care program is determined by family income and size as well as the need for child care.  Need for care may include employment, attending school, participating in an approved Welfare-to-Work plan, Child Protective Services (CPS), medical incapacitation, seeking employment, and seeking permanent housing.

Childcare Eligibility List (CEL)

Child Action, Inc. maintains the “Childcare Eligibility List” (or CEL) for subsidized child care programs in Sacramento County.   By signing up on the CEL, you allow multiple subsidized programs in Sacramento County to access your information when they have openings on their programs.  This will improve your chances of obtaining financial assistance with your child care costs.

Due to funding limitations and tremendous need, there is no guarantee of financial assistance. However, the first step in receiving help paying for child care is to submit a CEL application. After you submit an application, remember to update your CEL information at least every 6 months or if there are any changes in address, phone number, income, or family size.  These changes may affect your eligibility so keep your CEL application current.  Below are ways to apply:

  • Online: You can submit an application by creating an account. If you fill out the application online, you will be able to update your own information using your log-in and password.
  • Call Us: Give us a call at (916) 369-0191 and speak with a Child Action, Inc. representative to fill out the CEL application over the phone.

NOTE:  Parents who have been discontinued from cash aid within the last 24 months may be eligible for immediate enrollment.  If you believe this applies to you, please call Child Action, Inc. at (916) 361-0511. Our Assessment Unit staff will conduct an initial assessment and provide you with eligibility information.