Child Care Resource and Referral

A Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) organization serves as a resource hub for families, child care professionals and communities. CCR&Rs increase access to high-quality, affordable child care by providing many different services depending on where an individual lives, including: 

CCR&Rs help families find quality child care.

Choosing child care is one of the most important decisions families make and it can be difficult to find reliable information about your child care options. Local Child Care Resource and Referral agencies help parents take the guesswork out of choosing care by providing:

  • Referrals to local child care providers
  • Information on state licensing requirements.
  • Information on where to get help paying for child care.
  • Information on services for children with special needs.

CCR&Rs assist families by phone, in person and in other ways that are tailored to each family. In addition to assistance finding child care, many CCR&Rs offer parenting workshops, hotlines and newsletters.

CCR&Rs support the whole family.

CCR&Rs prioritize placing children in safe, high-quality child care settings and provide additional resources and supports to strengthen the whole family. Services include:

  • Connecting families to services such as health insurance, food assistance programs, and child care health and mental health consultants.
  • Linking providers to program supports such as assistance with child development screenings and serving as Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) sponsors.

CCR&Rs support early childhood educators and child care programs.

CCR&Rs build the supply of quality child care within their state and local communities. Services offered include:

  • Providing mentoring, coaching, and technical assistance at child care programs both in-person and virtually.
  • Developing quality improvement plans and supporting the programs through the implementation of the plans.
  • Providing business training to child care programs to ensure that their businesses are sustainable.
  • Disseminating funding to child care programs.
  • Equipping early childhood educators with professional supports, education, resources, and grants to ensure that they are prepared to offer specialized care and education to the children in their care.

CCR&Rs partners with state lead agencies.

CCR&Rs have deep experience collaborating with state lead agencies to meet the emergent needs of children, families, and providers. This includes:

  • Responding to emergency situations by quickly dispersing personal protective equipment (PPE), sanitization and mitigation supplies, and other resources.
  • Sharing meaningful feedback to support the equitable distribution of funding.
  • Conducting targeted outreach and raising awareness of grant opportunities.
  • Standing up grant application portals.
  • Providing technical assistance and resources to child care providers to complete grant applications.
  • Executing delivery of funds to child care programs.
  • Reporting up-to-date child care data.

Many families want to know the average cost of child care in their area as they’re searching for the right program. Potential child care providers may wonder what the needs of the community are before they open a child care business. They may also may want to know where gaps in service are in order to target their business to meet certain needs. Child Care Resource and Referral agencies often conduct research on child care needs and trends within their community so that they can answer those questions. This research also helps them to report what is happening in the child care field each year. This data also fuels CCAoA’s national research and advocacy efforts.

Learn More about CCR&R Services

Finding your local CCR&R is easy!

Now that you know a bit more about Child Care Resource and Referral agencies, you may want to reach out to yours for help with your child care-related needs. You can be connected with your local CCR&R by visiting our CCR&R Search page and searching by ZIP code.

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