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Navigating the Child Care and Development System

including Subsidy Programs

Finding a child care and development program that meets the needs of a child and the child’s family is a very important responsibility.  It can also be a challenging and lengthy process.  The Office of Child Care has developed a series of materials to serve as guides to help families as well as community-based organizations that work with families navigate the child care and development system.  

"P" For Parents/Families – The letter "P" indicates that the information provided at the link may be of particular interest to parents and families seeking child care and development services.  However, families are invited to read any of the materials available on these web pages.

"C" For Community-based Organizations Working with Families – The letter "C" indicates that the information provided at this link may be of particular interest to community-based organizations that may be in position to help families navigate the child care and development system.

Making Choices:  Subsidized Child Care and Development Services – A quick guide to the subsidized child care and development system available for low- to moderate-income families with children from birth up to 13 years old. P C

Los Angeles County Child Care Resource and Referral (R&R) Agencies – A map of the 10 R&Rs providing families with referrals to child care and development services throughout Los Angeles County.  Families contact the LA County R&R Consumer Education Line (888-922-4453) to be connected to their local R&R. P C

Using Child Care Resource and Referral (R&R) Services - a guide to requesting referrals from the Child Care Resource and Referral (R&R) Agency, including discussing the needs of the family, exploring the type of care desired (center-based or family child care), and whether family needs assistance paying for care.  In addition, outlines next steps once the family receives referrals, including guidelines for visiting the programs and selecting the one that best meets the needs of the family. P C

List of Subsidized Child Care and Development Programs – Community-based organizations, R&Rs and school districts contract with the California Department of Education/Child Development Division (CDE/CDD) to offer low- to moderate-income families one or more types of subsidized child care and development programs.  The programs typically recruit families living or working in the local community.  The list of programs are organized by Zip code and alphabetically. P C

Directory of Early Head Start and Head Start Programs:  Early Head Start and Head Start are federally-funded early education programs designed to enhance the cognitive, social and emotional development of children from birth to five years old from low-income families.  Click on the link for more information about both of the programs and for a listing of organizations offering Early Head Start and Head Start throughout Los Angeles County.

Preschool Programs Enrolling Now:  State Preschool, Head Start and Los Angeles Universal Preschool (LAUP) – A flyer targeted to parents, foster parents and relative caregivers of three and four year old children with an overview of the three preschool programs – Head Start, State Preschool and Los Angeles Universal Preschool (LAUP - each program’s enrollment requirements, and how to access them. P C

Subsidy Program Registration Form:  Designed to help families begin the process of registering their child in a CDE/CDD-contracted child care and development program. The form is available in eight languages; click on the preferred language to download the form – ArmenianChineseEnglishKhmerKoreanRussianSpanishVietnamese P   

Registration and Enrollment:  Developing a Portfolio for Child Care and Development – Contains a checklist of documents that may be required for enrolling a child in a child care and development program, including documentation to verify a family’s eligibility for subsidized services. P C

Maximizing Resources:  Navigating the Subsidized Child Care and Development System:  Developed for organizations in a position to help low- to moderate income families access an array of subsidized child care and development programs and programs specifically designed to prepare children for school and life.  Includes brief descriptions of the program types, the income eligibility criteria for each program, and how to access the program. C

Connecting Families to Child Care and Development Services:  A Case Management Approach – A flow chart designed to guide community-based organizations as they help family’s identify their need for child care and development services and navigate the system through enrollment. C

Case Management:  Connecting Families to Child Care and Development Services – A list of key points for helping a family through the process of seeking and enrolling their child in a subsidized child care and development. C

For questions about these materials, please contact the Office of Child Care by e-mail at sib_occ@ceo.lacounty.gov or by telephone at (213) 974-4103.

Office of Child Care
within the Service Integration Branch
of the Chief Executive Office

County of Los Angeles
222 S. Hill St., 5th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 974-4103 Phone – (213) 217-5106 Fax

Office of Child Care Home Page