Getting started

We are excited to help you get started with your inquiry about infant/toddler, preschool, and school-age programs, as well as financial assistance to help pay for child care. We can also assist by providing free referrals for licensed child care. To get started, please follow these easy steps, and an intake specialist will be happy to work with you.
Steps to getting started

About our center-based programs

Options for Learning's center-based programs are primarily funded by federal, state, and local government contracts. As a result, many spaces in our programs allow us to assist lower-income families who are working, attending college or vocational training, or seeking employment. Families who do not meet the state or federal eligibility guidelines and would like to enroll their children may be able to access fee-based spaces in some of our programs.  
Options for Learning welcomes children with disabilities in all our programs provided the child can be safely and successfully served in the program and some may qualify regardless of income. 
Priority is given to families who are at risk, in crisis, or have an active case with the Department of Children and Family Services.

*Please note that eligibility can only be determined once documentation is received and reviewed by our staff. When speaking with an intake specialist, preliminary eligibility will be determined based on the information provided at the time by the parent or guardian.

Step 1: 
Complete the initial application process by calling our Intake and Eligibility Department at 626-699-8070 or by applying online
Step 2: 
Once preliminary eligibility* has been determined, gather the following documentation: 
  • Birth certificates for ALL children in the household; 
  • Verification of parents' employment: verifiable employment information and all paycheck stubs received in the last 30 days (for steady wages) and/or 12 months (for fluctuating wages); 
  • Verification of parents' enrollment in school/training: current school enrollment/training schedule; 
  • Proof of any other income: TANF, unemployment, disability, child support, etc.; 
  • Current physical exam (within 12 months) and TB test with results for enrolling child (early learning only);
  • Up-to-date immunization record for enrolling child; 
  • Information of parental choice child care provider: Refer to our Find child care page to learn more about our center-based programs or to obtain free child care referrals. Choosing an early care and education program is one of the most important decisions a parent can make. We encourage families to review these resources on choosing quality child care
Step 3: 
An enrollment specialist will work with you to confirm eligibility based on the documentation provided and to complete the enrollment process.