Contra Costa County
Local Planning and Advisory Council for Early Care and Education

Resources for Parents

Child Care Resource and Referral Network

Choosing child care is one of the most important decisions families make, but all too often they must rely on word-of-mouth. Child care resource and referral organizations (R&Rs), located throughout the country, help parents take the guesswork out of choosing care – arming them with referrals and information about the elements of quality care and state licensing requirements, as well as the availability of child care subsidies.


The nonprofit Contra Costa Child Care Council is in the business of ensuring that Contra Costa’s children are nurtured, healthy and achieve their full potential. As the only child care resource and referral agency serving all of Contra Costa, the Council is at the center of the child care delivery system.

Bay Area Crisis Nursery

The purpose of the Bay Area Crisis Nursery is to prevent abuse and neglect of children by providing support to families who are in stress or crisis. Their primary service is providing a warm, loving, homelike environment for children birth through five years of age by offering 24-hour residential care. Their services are free, confidential and voluntary. Bay Area Crisis Nursery recently opened the Dahlstrom House for children ages 6 – 11 years old.

First Five Contra Costa

First 5 Contra Costa has defined long-range goals and desired outcomes for children and their families in Contra Costa, including: improved child health, improved child development, improved family functioning and improved systems for families.

California Alternative Payment Program Association

The mission of the California Alternative Payment Program Association (CAPPA) is to make sure that all parents have access to affordable quality child care in the State of California.

Parents Action for Children

Provides information about early childhood development and about resources for parents and care-givers, including information on the first three years of a child’s life, brain research, parent questions, lists of books and other resources, and advice from experts.

Zero to Three

This non-profit fosters a network of people around the country who are concerned about the needs of infants, toddlers, and families. It also functions as an Early Head Start National Resource Center and develops and conducts training for the birth-to-3 programs that are part of Head Start. The ZERO TO THREE site describes issues and programs and provides resources, suggestions, and a contact list.

Children’s Literature Web Guide

This site provides links to such resources as children’s books online, children’s book awards, and movies based on children’s books. The site also has lists of resources for teachers, parents, and storytellers.

CA Child Care Health Program

The California Child Care Health Program (CCHP) focuses on bringing knowledge about health and safety issues to the child care provider and to link the health, safety and child care communities.

Healthy Child Care

The website for the bimonthly magazine, Healthy Child Care, which features articles on nutrition, safety, staff wellness, medicines, illness, health education, and more

Healthy and Active Before 5

Healthy and Active Before 5 is a countywide collaborative effort to address early childhood obesity. The goal of Healthy and Active Before 5 is to create a healthier Contra Costa by increasing options for healthy eating and active living in our county by focusing on supportive environments and positive parenting.

Child Care Law Center

The Child Care Law Center uses legal tools to foster the development of quality, affordable child care–for every child, every parent, every community. CCLC works to expand child care options, particularly for low-income families, and to ensure that children are safe and nurtured in care outside the home.

Association for Childhood Education International

Provides information about the ACEI, the ACEI’s two journals and various publications, membership in the ACEI, and conferences and workshops. Their mission is to promote and support in the global community the optimal education and development of children, from birth through early adolescence, and to influence the professional growth of educators and the efforts of others who are committed to the needs of children in a changing society.

Children’s Defense Fund

CDF provides a voice for America’s children. The CDF website includes information on the Black community, Crusade for Children, gun control, ways to help children, statistics on the status of children today and ordering information for CDF publications.