Child Care Links, was established in 1976 in response to the State of California's interest in setting up innovative systems to deliver child care services. Child Care Links is a not-for-profit tax exempt agency (501-C-3) serving Alameda County.
To Provide Resources That Strengthen and Support Children and Their Families
The majority of the current funding comes from contracts with the Federal government that is disbursed either through the California Department of Education or the County of Alameda. In addition, the agency receives State funding for some of its programs. The balance of the budget comes from parent fees from subsidized families; contracts with corporations; contracts with the cities of Dublin, Livermore and Pleasanton; occasional small grants from foundations for special projects; and gifts from individuals who are concerned with children's well being.
Children and their families are the focus of Child Care Links programs. The Subsidy Programs serve income eligible families that are in training, working, or seeking employment. The Resource and Referral program serves Tri-Valley families of all incomes who are seeking care and community resources that meet their needs.
Description of Services
Child Care Links offers the following services to residents of Alameda County:
• A coordinating agency for services that strengthen and support children and their families • An advocate for quality child care • A consultant to government and business to plan child care programs
Child Care Subsidies – These programs provide child care subsidies for parents who qualify for services under terms of Agency agreements with the California Department of Education (CDE) and Alameda County Social Services Agency California Work Opportunity Responsibility to Kids Program (CalWORKs). The agency determines program eligibility, provides support services, collects parent fees and processes payments to child care providers. The CalWORKs Program provides child care subsidies to employed parents and/or parents enrolled in job training programs whose eligibility may be determined by the related public agency. The CDE programs provide child care subsidies to low-income parents who are employed, looking for work or pursuing educational goals.
Resource and Referral – These programs provide child care referrals, information and access to community resources for parents and offer technical assistance and/or training for providers. Support for these programs is provided through contracts with CDE, Alameda County First Five Commission, private sources, and the cities of Livermore, Pleasanton and Dublin. The city contracts fund the development and documentation of child care data and training for local providers and parents.
Unrestricted General Programs – These programs include fee-for-services referral projects.
Licensed Exempt Provider Project – This child care provider project is funded through Alameda County First Five Commission and is a provider and family education and support services program available to license exempt providers receiving payment for children enrolled in CalWORKs and other agency funded subsidized child care programs. This program was created to assist license exempt providers achieve the highest level of safe, quality child care for children in their care. The curriculum offers a wide range of free services including: outreach, information, resources, orientations, workshops and training, home visits and telephone support. Providers can earn safety equipment, resource materials, and children's books and toys simply by participating in the orientation program.
California Child Care Initiative Project (CCIP) – CCIP is a quality and capacity building project being funded by the California Child Care Resources Referral Network (CCCR&RN) and implemented by Resource and Referral (R&R) agencies throughout California. Child Care Links has been funded to provide project services in Dublin, Livermore, Pleasanton and Sunol. Licensed and license exempt providers are encouraged to participate. Infant/toddler care is emphasized; however, providers caring for preschoolers and school age children are also eligible to enroll in CCIP. CCIP participants receive training, technical assistance and support; materials for enhancing program curriculum or environment; assistance in paying for licensing related fees for providers who become licensed or complete program goals; and, can earn safety equipment and gift certificates for child development materials.
Child Development Corps – The Child Development Corps was established in 2000 by Every Child Counts First 5 Alameda County. The Corps Program rewards early childhood teachers, directors, family child care, and license exempt providers who continue their professional training in the Early Care and Education (ECE) field. The goal of the Corps is to improve quality care and education by building a support for early childhood educators, creating incentives and training opportunities for early childhood staff and providers to continue ECE training, as well as providing a strong support network of early childhood professionals.
Inclusion Program – The Inclusion Program is a community based, family oriented support program that addresses barriers faced by children with special needs. The program also works to increase the capacity of child care professionals to provide inclusive child care services. This program was initially funded the California Department of Education, Child Development Division and has also received financial support from Every Child Counts First 5 Alameda County.
Fran Calkins Memorial Resource Library – A resource library with books and videos for loan is open to anyone who resides, or provides care for children, in Dublin, Livermore, Pleasanton and Sunol. Resource information includes child development practices, health/safety/nutrition, curriculum and age appropriate activities, child concerns, parenting, special needs and training manuals. Materials address age ranges beginning at birth and ending with the teen years.
With the programs offered through the agency, and the employees who support these programs, the mission of Child Care Links is accomplished. Working each day to support and strengthen children and families is what Child Care Links is most proud of.