Child Care Resources, Programs
and Regulations in California


Community Care Licensing Division

744 P Street, Mail Station #19-48 Sacramento, CA 95814

Phone: 916-229-4500

List of Regional Offices

Resource and Referral Agencies

California Child Care Resource & Referral Network is a state-wide agency.

111 New Montgomery Street, 7th Floor San Francisco, CA 94105 Phone: 415-882-0234/ Toll Free: 800-543-7793

The Netowrk maintains a list of all the local Resource and Referral agencies by County. You can access the list here.


The California Department of Education Child Development Division funds many different types of subsidies. However, this information is really just that, information. Please remember that if you need help paying for child care, you need to contact your local Resource and Referral Agency. They will help you to sign up for The Central Eligibility List, called CEL.

California Department of Education Child Development Division

1430 N Street, Suite 3410 Sacramento, CA 95814-5901

Phone: 916-322-6233

Compensation and Benefits

Comprehensive Approaches to Raising Educational Standards (CARES)

Over 40 counties in California implemented a CARES programs for child care center teachers, administrators, and family child care providers. However, due to drops in funding, it is possible that some counties may no longer be implementing the program. Funding for the CARES Programs comes from the State First 5 Commission and, in some counties, local funding. Program eligibility and design may vary from county to county, but the intent of the program is to support and “reward a skilled and stable child care workforce by providing monetary rewards to child care providers based on their education levels and continued commitment to their professional development.“

Most counties base stipend levels on the California Child Development Permit Matrix.

Compensation programs in San Francisco City and County


The San Francisco CARES Program has been awarding annual stipends to the Early Child Care Workforce since 2000. Stipends are awarded based on an individual's Child Development Permit and degree, as well as meeting certain work and continuing education requirements. The ultimate goal of CARES is to provide financial incentives and support so that early childhood educators and caregivers continue their education and to provide stability in the workplace so that children and families in San Francisco receive the highest quality of care.


San Francisco began implementing the WAGES + program in 2000 and the WAGES + FCC program in 2002. The Program is funded through the San Francisco Human Services Agency. The intent of the program is to augment and stabilize the wages of early care and education teachers and staff employed in licensed centers and family child care, moving compensation closer to living wages. Wage increases take into consideration classroom staffs' education level and job responsibilities. The base level ranges from $9.80 per hour for Aides and Assistants with less than 6 units of early care and education/child development courses, to $18.10 per hour for Site Supervisors with qualifying education levels.

There are currently 30 center employers representing 77 centers and 188 family child care providers with 50 teaching assistants participating in WAGES+. Approximately 700 individuals receive wage funding on a monthly basis. In addition to wage funding, employers receive additional funding for business support for paid sick leave, payroll service, payroll taxes, worker's compensation insurance, and administration.

In order to participate in WAGES+, programs must meet a minimum of three criteria:

• Center/FCC wages for at least one classroom staff must be below the WAGES+ Wage Floors.

• Either 10% of enrolled children must be from families with incomes below 75% of State Median Income (SMI) or 25% of enrolled children must be from families with incomes below 85% of SMI.

• Center/FCC must agree to or have already received an external assessment from Gateway to Quality Child Care program (Harms Scales: ECERS, ITERS, FDCRS) and completed a Quality Improvement Plan (QIP).

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