Resource and Referral

Child Care Resource and Referral (R&R) agencies are located in every county in California. Over the last four 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.


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, 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,

  • 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,

  • Compile and disseminate information on the statewide supply and demand for child care, and

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


R&R services are free and available to all parents and child care providers.