Resource And Referral Agencies

Welcome to the first special of our "Getting to know you..." series. Throughout the next few weeks we'll introduce you to the many child care agencies, organizations and related services who can help you with your child care needs and concerns.

The fact is, there are many services available to asssit parents, caregivers and employers. Most are as close as your computer or your telephone.


In today's worrisome state it is vitally important parents realize they do not have to go it alone when it comes to finding quality child care. There are many services available to support and guide them through a trying, often frightening time.

Manning the front lines of this support system are Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies or Community Information Services. Local resource and referral agencies:

    * Promote consumer education and parental choice through consultation, information and referral of parents to All forms of child care and early education services
    * Maintain data on child care supply and demand in local communities
    * Provide support and training to early childhood teachers and family day care providers
    * Work to expand supply and build the quality of all early childhood/child care programs
    * Leverage resources through public/private partnerships to provide access to care for parents.

To find the Child Care Resource and Referral Agency in your province of state, visit our Child Care Registry. We've done the research so you don't have to!


Unlike the U.S., Canada does not have a national system for resource and referral services. "The point of access for many parents", says Peter Ashmore, of Westcoast Child Care Resource Centre in Vancouver, "is through the provincial Ministry of Social Services, Health Units, or whichever office is involved with licensing and subsidy."

Ashmore notes that the Yellow Pages is the logical place to look for resource and referral services, but points out that these services are often disguised as Community Information Services because they do so much more for parents than just resource and referral.


In the United States, where there are approximately eight million children in some form of child care (compared to three million in Canada), The National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies, has some 400 local community-based members. There are also State-wide CCR&R Networks.

Child Care Aware

Child Care Aware™ is a NACCRRA program funded through a cooperative agreement with the Child Care Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Child Care Aware was created by NACCRRA in 1988 with support from the Dayton Hudson Foundation and the Dayton Hudson Family of Stores. The national, toll free parent information hotline was first established in 1992.

Since then, Child Care Aware has become a steady national resource, consistently used in print media, parenting books and publications, television programs, and national public awareness campaigns on child care and related early childhood services and programs. All of Child Care Aware's information distribution channels (print, phone, web, email) are bilingual in English and Spanish.

Today, new parents know the number and start their search for child care by calling 1.800.424.2246.

NACCRRA is a membership organization of almost 700 community-based child care resource and referral (CCR&R) programs from every state in the United States, some provinces in Canada, and in Great Britain. NACCRRA's mission is to provide vision, leadership, and support to community child care resource and referral and to promote national policies and partnerships committed to the development and learning of all children.

Quality child care can make a big difference in your child's life, as it gives your child ahead start on a strong mind, body and spirit. Begin your search with your local resource and referral agency. They know a lot about local choices, and can save you a lot of time. "