Child Care Services Association (CCSA) promotes the affordability, accessibility and quality of child care through a variety of services directed at child care facilities, the child care workforce and families looking for child care assistance.
What is Child Care Resource and Referral?
Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) refers to an interrelated set of services to families, child care providers, employers and communities that:
- facilitate access to early care and education and school-age child care options for families;
- improve the quality of those child care options; and
- provide objective information for planning and policy development to the public and private sectors.
Services at CCSA
Serving as the Lead Agency for Region 12, (Alamance, Caswell, Durham, Franklin, Granville, Orange, Person, Vance and Wake Counties), CCSA provides the “core” CCR&R services of consumer education and referral, professional development and training, technical assistance, data collection and analysis, and public awareness, all of which work to improve children’s access to quality child care and help ensure children have the early experiences they need for their optimal development. CCR&R agencies also deliver “enhanced” CCR&R services that target specific early care and education service gaps and needs.
Services for Families
CCSA helps families with child care needs through a service called Child Care Referral Central (CCRC). Child Care Referral Specialists help take the guesswork out of choosing care by providing families with referrals to local programs, information on the NC Star Rated licensing system and information on where to get help paying for child care.
Child Care Referral Central is a regional collaborative between CCSA and the Alamance, Caswell, Person and Franklin-Granville-Vance Partnerships for Children. CCRC makes finding child care in the nine-county area of Alamance, Caswell, Durham, Franklin, Granville, Orange, Person, Vance and Wake counties easy and central for families.
Services for Child Care Programs
Child Care Referral Central
As a regional collaborative, Child Care Referral Central (CCRC) lists information about child care available in all nine counties. Information about programs is available to families calling into the CCRC toll-free number and to families who use the CCRC online child care search. CCRC lists and refers to licensed centers, licensed home providers, preschools, school-age programs and camps. Programs can build enrollment, fill vacancies and qualify for enhanced services by listing with CCRC. Providers can update program information at any time through the Provider Profile Portal.
Professional Development at CCSA provides ongoing professional development opportunities to child care providers and staff to impact that quality. By supporting quality improvement programs, helping create financial incentives for education, partnering with higher education and advocating for better compensation for providers, CCR&Rs help improve the quality of care for all children. We offer a calendar of training opportunities available to participants that address the topics approved by the North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education (DCDEE).
Technical Assistance and Other Resources
CCSA offers coaching and technical assistance (TA) to early care and education or school-age programs to help individual classrooms, multiple classrooms and/or an entire program start-up, address corrective action requirements and/or achieve or maintain higher quality. CCSA offers enhanced services for providers including the Child & Adult Care Food Program, child care subsidy and scholarship resources.
Outreach Services for Businesses and Communities
CCSA can help businesses and community agencies deal effectively with child care issues that confront their employees and community. (These services may be fee-based, depending on the size and scope of services requested, and are contingent upon current staff capacity).
Services may include:
- Work-Life Seminars – employee-focused, on-site or virtual classes on topics ranging from parenting and child development to stress management and work-life balance
- Work-Life Needs Assessments – consultation with employers to review their organizational work-life environments to develop family-friendly policies and procedures
- Employer Child Care Subsidies – guidance in the development of employer-sponsored subsidies to help employees afford the cost of child care
- Child Care Program Start-Up – assistance in the set-up and implementation of corporate child care
- Emergency Back-Up Child Care Plan – assistance in emergency plan development for the provision of on-site child care in the case of inclement weather, natural disasters or other emergencies
- Enhanced Child Care Referrals – provision of fee-based services to employees of corporate clients, including the provision of comprehensive information, vacancy checks, expanded searches, extended referral service hours, etc.
Support is provided by CCSA to the community at large in a number of ways, including advocacy, promotion of community involvement, planning and work to make high-quality child care a reality for all children. Examples of advocacy efforts include:
- Education around issues that affect children and communities
- Involvement with child-serving groups
- Awareness around legislative agendas and contact information for elected officials
Research & Data Services for Businesses and Communities
CCSA can help businesses and community agencies deal effectively with child care issues that confront their employees and community. Research shows parents who have consistent, affordable, quality child care are less likely to be absent from work or to leave their jobs. They are also more productive while at work.
Support is provided by CCSA to the community at large in a number of ways, including:
- State child care facts and figures
- Data collection, research and analysis – provision of varied and comprehensive data to identify community needs as well as shape/refine service delivery and inform public policy. Examples of data collected and analyzed include:
- Child care program supply and parental demand
- Number of referrals made to both preschool and school-age children
- Type and number of programs and their licensing status
- Child care fees/rates
- Child care vacancies
CCR&R in North Carolina
Child Care Services Association is one of three agencies that make up the NC CCR&R Council along with Child Care Resources Inc. and Southwestern Child Development Commission. The NC CCR&R Council provides management and oversight of the Regional Lead Agencies to ensure the delivery of high-quality CCR&R Core Services, access to special initiatives statewide and partners with the North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education (NCDCDEE) and the 14 NC CCR&R regions to support a strong child care resource and referral statewide system.
- CCR&R services are available in each of North Carolina’s 100 counties through the state’s regional system of CCR&R agencies.
- Overall, there are 14 regional CCR&R agencies across the state working with a variety of local organizations to serve North Carolina’s diverse families, child care programs, professional workforce and communities.
- CCR&R services are located in private, non-profit organizations, Smart Start Partnerships and a variety of public agencies. Several N.C. agencies have been providing CCR&R services to their communities for more than 40 years.
- CCR&R agencies provide the “core” CCR&R services of consumer education and referral, professional development and training, technical assistance, data collection and analysis, and public awareness, all of which work to improve children’s access to quality child care and help ensure children have the early experiences they need for their optimal development. CCR&R agencies also deliver “enhanced” CCR&R services which target specific early care and education service gaps and needs.
- North Carolina’s CCR&R system is a national model for high performance, with strong standards and a set of outputs and outcomes for which the system is held accountable.