What is a Resource and Referral Agency?
Child Care Resource and Referral (R&R) agencies are located in every county in California. Community Connection for Child Care is Kern County’s Child Care Resource and Referral agency. Over the last two decades, R&R services have evolved from a grassroots effort to help parents find child care, to a well-developed system that supports parents, providers, and local communities in finding, planning for, and providing affordable, quality child care. The state, through the California Department of Education, Child Development Division, has supported these efforts since 1976.
As your local resource and referral agency, CCCC:
- documents parents’ requests for child care services,
- helps parents find child care that best suits their needs,
- maintains comprehensive databases of child care providers in their communities, including licensed family child care homes and child care centers,
- tracks providers’ licensing status, the languages they speak, the age groups they serve, the schedules they offer, and the number of spaces available in centers or family child care homes,
- works with providers to improve the quality of child care and to maintain and expand the supply of child care in each county,
- provides training and other services that help providers stay in business,
- compiles and disseminate information on the statewide supply and demand for child care, and
- educates local communities and leaders to understand child care issues and to plan effectively to address child care needs.
CCCC R&R services are free and available to all parents, child care providers, employers and community members!
How can R&R help families?
The foundation of Resource & Referral is working with families. R&R assists families who combine work and family responsibilities in managing life transitions that include entry into the workforce, education or training, job changes, shift or schedule changes and family emergencies. As increasing numbers of families combine the roles of working and rearing children, child care becomes an important partner in helping parents manage their responsibilities. CCCC R&R can help in finding child care arrangements, what to look for in a quality child care program, and general child care information. Please call us at:
Bakersfield & Kern County
877.861.5200 (Toll-free number)
Referrals are also available on-line. Simply read and agree to our disclaimer statement and you’re on your way. Referrals can either be emailed to you or you can be contacted by a R&R Specialist.
How does the Resource and Referral Process work?
When a family calls R&R, a consultant will first help the family define their child care needs by asking the number of children needing care, their ages and what days and hours the families will need care. Individual referrals for more than one child can be done over the course of one phone call. Attention is also given to if the parent needs care near work, home or the child(ren)’s school(s) and if the child(ren) have exceptional needs that require special care settings. Sometimes, a provider will contact R&R on behalf on a family to help them find other care options when that provider can no longer care for that child.
The consultant will review the family information and refer to CareFinder, a provider information database, to find five or six providers that meet a family’s needs. In general, R&R will give more referrals if the family is looking for infant care or if they need care in outlying communities where the number of providers is limited.
All families are informed that child care referrals are not intended to be an endorsed reference on the part of the R&R consultant, R&R or CCCC. It is the family’s responsibility to make a decision about what choice is best for them. To help families, R&R consultants can answer questions about choosing quality child care settings during the referral process and all families receive by mail Child Care Choices, a child care guide for parents to help them measure quality care in family child care homes and centers. In addition, R&R consultants encourage all families to contact child care provider licensing in Fresno to research a potential provider’s background. A R&R consultant, however, cannot tell a family how much a provider charges for child care services. If at any time a family feels that none of the given referrals meet their family need, they can call back and start the process over again.
In offering these services, R&R gathers valuable information about parent demand and existing supply of child care resources. To document changing family needs in communities, families are also asked a series of optional questions which include income, type of household, relation to child, why looking for care and child care subsidy eligibility. This detailed information can reveal disparities between supply and demand and assist community planners, policy-makers and others with child care capacity building and policy efforts to stimulate the development of needed child care resources.
CHILD CARE PROVIDERS
How can R&R help providers?
CCCC R&R can provide assistance in the start-up of family child care homes, group child care homes and child care centers. Various programs offer training to increase a provider’s knowledge base and consultations concerning day to day activities in child care. Find out more information about becoming a licensed child care provider.
Seeking referrals to your program? There are no charges/fees associated with a provider listing in the CCCC Resource & Referral Database or for referrals to your program. If you have openings, please contact our Resource & Referral staff at 661.861.5200 or 877.861.5200 toll-free to update your information with us and we can refer interested families with your most current information, hours and services.
The CCCC R&R also offers a Resource Library designed to make your job as a provider a little easier. The facility provides access to our lending library, laminating service, binding machine, copy machine and the Ellison machine. Each of these tools can help you add pizzazz to your reading, creative projects and interactive programs. We encourage you to take advantage of this wonderful center-as a resource in helping you be the best you can be!