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How can our Resource and Referral Agency Help?

Our local Resource and Referral Agency (R&R) is the Child Development Resource Center (CDRC).

Subsidized child development services cover just a portion of the many types of child care available in our county. There are other nonprofit and private centers, in-home child care services and licensed Family Child Care Homes that can assist families that do not qualify for subsidized care or that can no longer wait to be called by a subsidized program. Santa Cruz County residents can contact CDRC for free referrals to these child care services and other child care services. They also can make referrals for parents being served through an Alternative Payment Program such as Voucher Project or PACE-AP, or the Human Services Department (the County welfare department), all of which serve families on a parental choice, voucher-style program for which parents find their own center or home-based child care provider. CDRC is funded by the State Department of Education, Child Development Division.  They also offer other valuable services to families and child care providers.

If your family doesn’t qualify for subsidized care or you need immediate service, please contact them for referrals to private child care providers:

Child Development Resource Center (CDRC)
400 Encinal Street
Santa Cruz, CA  95060
1-831-466-5820 (Child Care Switchboard for referrals and other inquiries)

County Office of Education
Website: www.santacruz.k12.ca.us/

Child Development Resource Center (CDRC)
Website: http://www.cdrc4info.org

How does the Resource and Referral Process work?
When a family contacts CDRC, a referral specialist will first help the family define their child care needs.  The consultant will ask about:

- the number of children needing care
- the ages of the children
- the days and hours the families will need care
- the preferred childcare location
- special required childcare needs or settings

The referral specialist reviews the family information and refers to our licensed childcare provider database, to find several providers that meet a family’s needs.  The R&R will provide 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 referral specialist. It is the family’s responsibility to make a decision about what choice is best for their individual needs or requirements. 

Additional Assistance is Available to Families in Need of Childcare
The referral specialist can answer questions about choosing quality child care settings during the referral process.   Child care questions and answers can also be found in our Parents Resource area.  Many answers to commonly asked questions can be found there as well.

In addition, CDRC and all partners in our CEL group strongly recommend that parents exercise their right and responsibility to evaluate a potential child care provider by reviewing their licensing history.  CDRC does not recommend particular providers and does not 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. 

Other information the R&R will need from families 
While offering referral services, the R&R consultants also gather valuable information about the childcare a family is seeking, to help document changing family needs in our community. These questions include:

- type of household
- relation to child
- why the family is looking for care
- does the family require child care subsidy
- is the family eligible for child care subsidies

The information provided will not only assist the referral specialist to help the family to find appropriate child care, but will also be collected and tallied with information from all families looking for child care, and for child care subsidies. Of course, the information from each individual family is kept strictly confidential. However, the data that results when information is tallied helps community planners and policy makers understand more about local needs for child care, including the geographic areas and age groups for which more child care may be needed, and to which available resources might be best directed.