Opportunity Councilís Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) is a community service that works with parents/families, early childhood educators, businesses, and community organizations to help promote the availability of high quality early care and education programs in Island, San Juan, and Whatcom counties.
We provide parents and families with referrals to licensed child care providers and consumer education materials to help make the most informed decision when selecting a high-quality early care and education program. We offer early childhood educators access to valuable professional development and support services, for both new and established programs. Child Care Resource and Referral also works to assess the supply and demand of child care in the communities we serve, and based on our findings, increase the supply where needed.
- We provide licensed child care referrals and consumer education materials to families free of charge in Island, San Juan, and Whatcom counties.
- We manage a confidential database including family, child care provider and community resources information.
- We maintain the phone lines for a minimum of 30 hours per week, giving referrals to parents/families and technical assistance to child care providers.
- We are a hub for information and resources, enabling us to be a source of free advertising for providers.
- Professional Development opportunities such as the initial 20-hour STARS class as well as the ongoing 10-hour continuing education requirement, college courses offering credit in Early Childhood Education (ECE), and community-based workshops that offer STARS credits.
- Onsite Consultation that is available to licensed and potential child care providers free of charge. Our consultants are extremely experienced in the early learning field and can offer strategic advice aimed to enhance your child care center/home. They offer services on pre-licensing visits, environments, behavior, administration, marketing techniques, communication, and quality improvement.
- Child Care Financial Assistance for families living in Whatcom County. If families are homeless or in a crisis situation, we may be able to support them with child care payments on a temporary basis.
- A Quarterly Newsletter, called Early Learning Connections, which includes literature on early learning legislative updates, WA Scholarships for Child Care Professionals, and topics on business practices, health/safety, and more.
- A Parent Newsletter, called the Daily Parent, which includes information on child development, health and safety, parenting, quality child care, parenting education resources, and CCR&R services available.
- A Lending Library, which includes informative books and videos on early care and education, such as administration, behavior, child development, communication, cultural diversity, curriculum, health and safety, special needs, parenting, and professionalism. Our lending library also consists of preschool theme kits as well as toys. All of these items can be borrowed on a monthly basis.
- Child and Adult Care Food Program, referrals to this program, a federally funded program to help family home child care providers serve healthy meals to the children for whom they care.
- Early Support for Infants and Toddlers, referrals to this program, which assists families who have children ages birth to three with developmental delays.
- Early Head Start, Head Start, Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program, serve pregnant women and children aged birth to 5 years from income eligible families.
We give referrals only, not recommendations. The information we provide is self-reported by the child care providers. It is up to families/parents to research the licensed child care providers in order to determine if they meet their standards, and are a good fit for their family and their parenting philosophy.
Contact our Child Care Resource and Referral office to work with a qualified Coordinator who will provide you with a customized list of child care programs and consumer education about early care and education. Our hours of operation are Monday through Thursday from 8:30am to 4:00pm. During this time, we offer referrals to parents and families, and technical assistance to child care providers. Our contact information is below.