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: Argelia Perez, Resource Specialist 805.925.4789
Santa Barbara: Ruth Torres, Resource Specialist 805.963.4592
CCIP Participant Applications available here.
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
WHAT IS THE CHILD AND ADULT CARE FOOD PROGRAM (CACFP)
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.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF 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 rates (which targets higher levels of reimbursement to low-income areas, providers, or children) or lower tier II rates.
Eligible public or private non-profit child care centers, "at-risk" after-school care programs, Head Start programs, and institutions which are licensed or approved to provide day care services may participate in the CACFP.
For-profit centers must receive title XX funds or at least 25 percent of enrolled children or licensed capacity (whichever is less) must be eligible for free and reduced price meals. Meals served to children are reimbursed at rates based upon each child’s eligibility for free, reduced price, or paid meals.
“At-Risk” Afterschool Care Programs
Community-based programs that offer enrichment activities for at-risk, children and youth, 18 and under, after the regular school day ends, can provide free meals and snacks through CACFP. Programs must be offered in areas where at least 50 percent of the children are eligible for free and reduced price meals based upon school data.
Since July 1, 1999, public or private nonprofit emergency shelters which provide residential and food services to children and youth experiencing homelessness may participate in CACFP. Eligible shelters may receive reimbursement for serving up to three meals each day to residents 18 and under.
CLAIMING REIMBURSEMENT FOR MEALS SERVED
Institutions must submit accurate monthly claims for reimbursement to their administering agencies. Reimbursement is not allowed for meals or snacks that are: Served to a child or an adult who is not enrolled for care; served in excess of licensed or authorized capacity; not approved in the agreement; served in excess of the maximum number of approved meal services; or out of compliance with meal pattern requirements.
Emergency shelters may not claim reimbursement for meals served to children who are not residents.
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.
Reimbursement in Day Care Centers
Independent centers and Sponsoring organizations receive cash reimbursement for serving meals to enrolled children and adults that meet Federal nutritional guidelines. The CACFP meal pattern varies according to age and types of meal served.
Centers and 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. Emergency shelters may claim up to three reimbursable meals (breakfast, lunch and supper) to each eligible resident, each day. Afterschool care programs may claim reimbursement for serving one meal and one snack to each eligible participant, each day.
Reimbursement for centers is computed by claiming percentages, blended per meal rates, or actual meal count by type (breakfast, lunch, supper, or snack) and eligibility category (free, reduced price, and paid). The State agency assigns a method of reimbursement for centers, based on meal times rate.
Reimbursement for emergency shelters and afterschool care programs is based on the actual meal count by type (breakfast, lunch supper or snack) multiplied by the free rate.
Downloadable Forms for Child Care Centers
Building the Future
Center's Weekly Menus (Sample)
Justice For All (Form AD-475A)
Monthly Menu Plan Non Infant (Sample)
Daily Meal Production Record (Sample)
Weekly Attendance & Meal Count Worksheet (Sample)
USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service
This institution is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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