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: 

  • Helping families find child care. 
  • Providing support, education and resources to child care providers. 
  • Gathering research on child care needs and trends to inform community members and policy makers. 

CCR&Rs help parents find 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

CCR&Rs assist families by phone, in person and in other ways that are tailored to each family. The majority of CCR&Rs have websites with child care information and resources. Many of these websites now have online child care search that allow families to find customized child care referrals on their own time.

In addition to assistance finding child care, many CCR&Rs offer parenting workshops, hotlines and newsletters.

CCR&Rs build the supply of quality child care by providing support and resources to child care providers.

Quality child care programs are so important to working parents and to the economy. Parents need care to work or attend school or training programs. Businesses need quality child care programs so that their employees can get to work. Quality child care providers protect the health and safety of the children in their care and they help children learn and be prepared for school.

Operating a quality child care business is not easy. Child care providers need access to trainings and supports to get their business started and to continually improve the quality of their care. Many Child Care Resource and Referral agencies help by:

  • Assisting new child care providers with the start-up process.
  • Helping providers meet licensing requirements.
  • Offering low-cost or free trainings in topics like health and safety, child development, and sound business practices.
  • Working with local and state governments and the private sector to leverage resources for building and maintaining the supply of quality child care.
  • Providing ongoing professional development opportunities to child care providers and staff.
  • Supporting accreditation programs.
  • Helping create financial incentives for education.
  • Advocating for better pay for providers.

CCR&Rs bridge child care and education.

Quality child care has many benefits, including preparing children for school. Child Care Resource and Referral agencies strive to support child care settings that help children grow and learn by supporting providers with training, coaching and continuing education. CCR&Rs also support quality early learning by:

  • Informing parents about child development, early learning and what quality child care programs look like.
  • Informing communities about the important links between early learning and later success in school and the vital role that child care providers play in making sure children are learning what they need to be ready to start school.

CCR&Rs gather important data on child care needs and trends.

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 is helpful to families, providers and policy makers.

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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