Finding the right child care is one of the most important decisions your family may need to make. The early care and education specialists at CDRC can answer your questions—on the phone, or in person—to help you find child care that meets your needs.
Help for Families
Personalized Child Care Referral Request
Guide to Choosing Child Care
Check the history of a child care provider or program
Community Care Licensing – (408) 324-2148, or online.
The Child Development Resource Center/Child Care Switchboard maintains a current list of all licensed child care centers and licensed family child care homes in Santa Cruz County. We also realize that licensed care does not always meet the needs of every individualized family. If your preferred choice is to go with a nanny, babysitter, or other informal arrangement (license-exempt care) you can have the added peace of mind of utilizing the TrustLine Registry.
TrustLine is the California registry of in-home and license-exempt child care providers (babysitters and nannies) who have passed a background check. TrustLine was created by the California Legislature to give parents an important tool to use when selecting a caregiver for their children. It is the only authorized screening program of in-home and license-exempt caregivers in the state with access to fingerprint records at the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI and access to California’s Child Abuse Central Index. TrustLine is endorsed by the California Academy of Pediatrics. TrustLine can be reached at 1-800-822-8490 or www.trustline.org.
Finding Child Care
Step 1. Fill out the online Child Care Referral Form.
Step 2. CDRC will send you several personalized referrals based on your family’s needs. We don’t make recommendations.
Step 3. Visit and evaluate sites from the list of referrals to find child care that meets your family’s needs.
Step 4. To help you know what to look for, use the
Step 5. CDRC recommends that families review a potential child care provider’s licensing history before placing their child in the provider’s care. Using the provider’s license number or name on your referral form, you can check the background of a center or family day care home, by calling Community Care Licensing at (408) 324-2148, or online.
At any step along the way, CDRC can answer your questions on the phone, by email, or in person.
View CDRC’s Referral Policies and Oliver’s Law
Paying for Child Care
For many working families, quality child care is out of reach because of the cost. CDRC can help determine whether your family may qualify for assistance paying for this essential service and help you contact the agencies that offer subsidized care in your area.
All throughout Santa Cruz County there are excellent programs of care and education that serve eligible families in preschools, child care centers and licensed family child care homes. There is also a voucher system that can assist families on an individual basis. For more information on these options, contact a specialist at CDRC.
Click here for a quick look at minimum eligibility requirements.
For further information on subsidized child care, you can download this tip sheet. Can I Get Help Paying for Child Care?
Please call us for more information.
CDRC partners with dozens of community organizations that support the overall health, safety and well-being of children and families.
Call CDRC to help determine which resource you need.