Child care resource and referral agencies (R&R) are state-funded, community-based programs that exist in every county in California. R&Rs make up a well-developed system that supports parents, child care providers, and local communities. The California Department of Education, Child Development Division supported these efforts between 1976-2020. Beginning July 1, 2021, the Early Childhood Act of 2020 transitioned the R&R programs and most of the child development funding in California over to the California Department of Social Services.

Local resource and referral agencies:

  • help parents find child care that best meets their family needs;

  • document parents’ requests for child care services;

  • maintain comprehensive databases of child care providers in their communities, including licensed family child care homes and child care centers;

  • track providers’ licensing status, languages they speak, age groups they serve, schedules they offer and number of spaces available in centers or family child care homes;

  • work with providers to improve the quality of child care and to maintain and expand the supply of child care in each county;

  • provide training and other services that help providers stay in business; and,

  • educate local communities and leaders to understand child care issues and to plan effectively to address child care needs.