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Early Childhood Education

Need Child Care? There’s A New California Website For That

In this image, two children sit at a desk and color pictures with crayons.
The new website includes licensed home-based daycare. This image was originally part of the series Child Care, Unfiltered.
(Susana Alonzo for LAist)
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There’s a new resource for California families looking for child care.

Mychildcareplan.org launched Tuesday and lists center- and home-based providers across the state. It allows you to filter the search for things like type of care, vacancies, and language. The site is translated into Español, 中文 and Tiếng Việt.

We want to answer your questions about finding child care!

“It's really putting the power into the family's hands — a tool that allows you to easily go to just one place [and] get all these resources,” said Linda Asato, who leads the organization behind the site, the California Child Care Resource & Referral Network.

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Asato said unlike other child care directories, this website is free for providers and families, lists every licensed provider in California, and links to their history of inspections and citations. There is also limited information about school-based programs like transitional kindergarten.

Additional resources include information about financial assistance, a hotline, and tips for interviewing providers.

“We did see this as, you know, a place for families as their child grows, or if their family grows,” Asato said.

For child care providers:

The website was temporarily taken down on its first day because it had published the addresses of family child care providers, which are typically kept private because they are individual homes.

Each of the state’s 58 local child care resource and referral agencies pooled their information to create the website’s database. These nonprofit organizations connect families to child care and support providers through training, supply giveaways, and other services.

California passed legislation in 2018 mandating the creation of “an online portal for the state’s comprehensive child care and development services.” A bare-bones version of the website launched during the pandemic, but with incomplete information.

Asato said it’s taken years to amass the approximately $7 million in public funding needed to launch the site.

“Databases or technology wasn’t the number one priority,” Asato said, adding that elected leaders have often prioritized increasing the number of subsidized child care slots for low-income families.

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With additional money, she said, the website could be expanded to include more information about provider training and how families can qualify for other public benefits.

What questions do you have about early childhood education and development? What do you want to know about kids ages 0-5 and those who care for them in Southern California?
Decades of research indicates early childhood education significantly boosts children’s readiness to learn. Mariana Dale wants families, caregivers and educators to have the information they need to help children 0-5 grow and thrive by identifying what’s working and what’s not in California’s early childhood system.