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For Providers

Welcome Child Care Providers!

At Children’s Resource & Referral of Santa Barbara County we know how difficult it is for parents to find the right child care provider. We believe that it is our job to increase the choices that parents have. We also believe that it is very important that all child care is of the highest quality.

Child care providers have the responsibility to nurture and keep children safe as well as prepare them for successfully transitioning into school. To help you with this awesome responsibility, Children’s Resource & Referral offers training and technical assistance on a variety of topics.

Obtaining a Child Care License

The first step to becoming a licensed child care provider is to attend the appropriate Licensing Orientation. For Orientation schedule and additional information on Community Care Licensing call: 805.562.0400 or visit their website at: Community Care Licensing Division

To become a Family Child Care Provider, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Attend a licensing orientation, and pay a fee to attend.
  • Have your fingerprints taken for a Child Abuse Index Check for yourself and anyone over the age of 18 in your home, and assistants. Everyone fingerprinted must also sign a statement that they have never been convicted of a crime other than minor traffic violations.
  • Have a current tuberculosis clearance, as well as anyone over the age of 18 in the home or present during the time that children will be in care.
  • Complete 15 hours of training in Preventative Health Practices, which include Pediatric First Aid and CPR.
  • Have a smoke detector and fire extinguisher in the home where child care takes place.
  • Submit a licensing application with all required materials.
  • Pay an annual fee to maintain a current license.

To start a licensed Child Care Center contact:  Community Care Licensing Division

Child Care Initiative Project

The Child Care Initiative Project is designed to recruit and train family child care providers in order to address the shortage of licensed quality child care in Santa Barbara County. Our staff will support and assist you with the licensing process, evaluate your home environment to ensure that it meets licensing standards.

Participation in the project requires that a potential child care provider must attend a total of 25 training hours. We offer these hours through four modules. The training series includes: the business aspects of child care, tax preparation, and best practices in caring for infants and toddlers. Incentives are offered for completion of required training.

For more information on the CCIP Program call:
Santa Maria: 805.925.7071
Santa Barbara: 805.963.6631

Family Child Care Steps to Quality

Family Child Care Steps to Quality Program is designed to support a provider’s commitment to creating a high quality child care program. Research shows that children thrive in high quality child care. In an effort to increase high quality child care in Santa Barbara County, Children’s Resource & Referral has created this Program to focus on four elements of success: Education of the Provider; High Quality Environments; Strong Business Practices; and Relationships. If you would like more information about Family Child Care Steps to Quality Program please click here

NAFCC Accreditation for Providers

National Association for Family Child Care is a process in family child care to indentify exemplary practices by a particular Family Child Care Program. Accreditation is both a status and a process. As a status, accreditation provides public notification that the Program meets standards of quality set forth by an accrediting agency. As a process, accreditation reflects the fact that in achieving recognition by the accrediting agency, the institution or program is committed to self-study and external review in seeking not only to meet standards but to continuously seek ways in which to enhance the quality of the services provided. If you would like more information about how Family Child Care Steps to Quality can support you in the NAFCC Process click here

Child Care Food Program


The USDA’s Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) plays a vital role in improving the quality of day care and making it more affordable for many low-income families. The CACFP serves nutritious meals and snacks to eligible children who are enrolled for care at participating child care centers, day care homes, TrustLine facilities, who participate in after school care programs, or reside in emergency shelters.  Each day, over 3.2 million children and over 112,000 adults receive nutritious meals and snacks based on USDA guidelines through the CACFP.


CASH REIMBURSEMENT to participating facilities for serving healthy meals to enrolled children that meet USDA nutritional guidelines. All participants receive nutritious meals and snacks.  Participants receive training in nutrition, based on USDA guidelines and education about providing healthy food and healthy eating.  CACFP funds are used to cover the costs of food service operations.


Studies and Research

Studies show that children participating in the CACFP receive meals that have higher intakes of key nutrients, have fewer servings of fats and sweets, and are nutritionally superior to meals served to non-participating children. Research cites participation in CACFP as one of the major factors influencing quality care. Of all family child care homes considered to provide good quality care, over 87 percent participate in the CACFP.

The CACFP also makes child care and afterschool programs more affordable for low-income parents who rely on these programs to provide a safe and healthy place for their children


Funding and Responsibility

The USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) administer the CACFP through grants to states. Independent centers and sponsoring organizations enter into agreements with their administering state agencies to assume administrative and financial responsibility for CACFP food service operations.

The National School Lunch Act, as amended, authorizes federal assistance to states that administer the CACFP. States may use the assistance to help start, maintain, and expand non-profit food services for children enrolled for child care in nonresidential institutions.


Day Care Homes

A family or group day care home must sign an agreement with a sponsoring organization to participate in CACFP.  Day care home must be licensed, TrustLined and approved to provide day care services.  Reimbursement for meals served in day care homes is based upon eligibility for tier I & II rates (which targets higher levels of reimbursement to low-income areas, providers, or children).


Reimbursement in Day Care Homes

Program payments for day care homes are based on the number of meals served to enrolled children, multiplied by the appropriate reimbursement rate for each breakfast, lunch, supper, or snack they are approved to serve.  Day care homes may be approved to claim up to two reimbursable meals (breakfast, lunch or supper) and one snack, or two snacks and one meal, to each eligible participant, each day.  Sponsoring organizations also receive administrative funds related to the documented costs they incur in planning, organizing, and managing CACFP.

Tier I day care homes are those that are located in low-income areas, or those in which the provider’s household income is at or below 185 percent of the Federal income poverty guidelines.  Sponsoring organizations may use elementary school free and reduced price enrollment data or census block group data to determine which areas are low-income.

Tier II homes are those family day care homes which do not meet the location or provider income criteria for tier I home.  The provider in a tier II home may elect to have the sponsoring organization identify income-eligible children, so that meals served to those children who qualify for free and reduced price meals would be reimbursed at the higher tier I rates.

A child’s eligibility for tier I rates in a tier II day care home may be documented through submission of a Meal Benefit Form which details family size and income or participation in any of a number of means-tested State or Federal programs with eligibility at or below 185 percent of poverty. 

Downloadable Forms for Day Care Homes
Building the Future
Daily Record Keeping Flyer
Holiday Calendar
Infant Formula Decline Statement
Infant Meal Pattern
Justice For All (Form AD-475A)
Meal Pattern for Older Children
Medical Statement (CNP-925 REV. 02/2014)


Provider Resources
Picky Eaters
USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits.  Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at:, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call
(866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1)      mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2)      fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3)      email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Alternative Payment/CalWORKs Programs

Alternative Payment Programs allow parents to choose the child care program and Children’s Resource & Referral of Santa Barbara County will pay the provider on the State's behalf. Alternative Payment Programs are popular because parents can choose care that is close to their work or home, and care that meets their individualized need for flexible scheduling.

CalWORKs Program is designed for parents of young children, who receive cash assistance through Santa Barbara County - Department of Social Services. For more information or to ask how you can be an Alternative Payment Child Care Provider call 805.925.7030.

Parent/Provider Handbook
Addendum 12016
Addendum 22016
Immunization Guide

Child Attendance Records
Due Dates
Absence Policy
Care Portal Instructions
Online Provider Training

Child Development Lending Library

The Child Development Lending Library is open daily in both the Santa Maria and Santa Barbara office locations. This is a no-cost library, filled with many educational toys, books, videos, and instructional materials that can be borrowed for two weeks at a time. Additionally, we have a laminator and die cut machine available for use. To be a member of the Child Development Lending Library, you must complete a Library Contract.

For images of the Child Development Lending Library click here.

Maintaining Your Child Care License

Training Opportunities
Annual Training Calendar: There are many opportunities and resources to support a Child Care Provider’s ongoing professional development. Children’s Resource & Referral conducts regular workshops/trainings as well as an Annual Child Development Conference.

Update Your Provider File Today!

Stay Connected
The Children’s Resource & Referral of Santa Barbara County is a valuable resource to help you grow your business.  It’s very important that we update your file regularly, this way we can provide families with the most up to date information.

We need to have your most up to date contact information as well as information of your availability such as; phone number, address, e-mail, current vacancies, rates, hours and days of operation etc.  Having this information also allows us to keep you informed of events and trainings as well as other information that could help you.

Please contact us and we will be happy to make any changes needed. 
It only takes 5 minutes!

Stay in touch by calling:

Bertha Salazar                                                 
Santa María 805.925.1989

Miriam Ortiz
Santa Barbara

Health & Safety Requirements & Reimbursements
A licensed child care provider must have current CPR and First Aid Certification that is EMSA approved. For more information on CPR & First Aid classes please contact Children’s Resource & Referral.

Children’s Resource & Referral of Santa Barbara County can assist child care providers with the cost of obtaining and renewing CPR/Pediatric First Aid and the Health & Safety Certifications. Providers may apply for reimbursement; approval is contingent on funding availability.

To apply simply download the application from the link below, and mail it in with a copy of your receipt(s), a copy of the front and back of your card(s) verifying the class was conducted by an EMSA Certified Instructor. 

Downloadable Health & Safety Reimbursement Application Form click here. 

Marketing Your Business
In most instances, child care providers are small businesses. You need to market your business as any other small business in our community. Advertising through the yellow pages of the phone book, local newspaper ads, and radio are all good methods. Business cards and flyers are highly recommended.

When parents are seeking child care through the Resource & Referral Program, we may provide them your Family Child Care Program information.  However, once we give them this information it is up to the parent to make the initial contact with you. Although we will update our Provider Database regularly, it is up to you to keep us up-to-date on available openings or any changes to your Program.

Professional Associations

Santa Barbara Family Child Care Association (SBFCCA)
Santa Maria Association of Family Child Care Providers (SMAFCCP)


Children’s Resource & Referral of Santa Barbara County publishes a quarterly R&R Newsletter for child care providers. The newsletter is filled with information that will assist you with your business, link you to other support programs and keep you informed about Early Care and Education news! 

Newsletter Archives
Fall 2011