SUPPORTING FAMILIES

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SUPPORTING FAMILIES

CONNECTING WITH QUALITY EARLY CARE AND EDUCATION YMCA CHILDCARE RESOURCE SERVICE


Dear Families,

We are pleased to provide this resource guide to give you the tools to make the best choice in choosing a quality early care and education program for your children. It is one of the most important decisions you will make. The quality of care has a direct impact on your child’s ability to learn, grow and build healthy relationships. When you invest time and thought in your search, you can find a program that provides a secure, safe and nurturing environment for your child. YMCA CRS was established in 1980 as the state funded child care resource and referral agency for San Diego County. We are a social service branch of the YMCA of San Diego County and dedicated to providing free and low cost services to the community with a focus on matching families with early childhood programs that meet their needs. For additional questions about child care referrals, subsidies or guidance through the process of finding a quality program, please contact our early education specialist or child care consultant team. We are here to help you create the best early care and education plan for your family!

Laurie Han Department Head, Resource & Referral Department

YMCA CHILDCARE RESOURCE SERVICE Referral Line 1-800-481-2151 Fax 619-521-3050 4451 30th Street, San Diego, CA 92116 www.facebook.com/ymca.crs www.instagram.com/ymcacrs www.ymcasd.org/crs 2

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Table of Contents QUALITY EARLY CARE AND EDUCATION What to Look For .................................................................................4 Quality Matters ....................................................................................5

MATCHING YOUR CHILD’S STYLE TO THE RIGHT CHILD CARE SETTING ....................................................6 DETAILS ON DIFFERENT TYPES OF SETTINGS FOR YOUR CHILD Child Care or Preschool Centers .......................................................7 Family Child Care Homes ....................................................................8 Family, Friend, Neighbor (Informal Care) ..........................................9 State & Federally-Funded Programs ...............................................10

FIND EARLY CARE AND EDUCATION PROVIDERS NEAR YOU ...............................................................................................11 FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR EARLY CARE AND EDUCATION State-Funded Options ........................................................................12 Federally-Funded Options .................................................................13 Child Care Subsidies ...........................................................................14

FIVE STEPS TO CHOOSING QUALITY EARLY CARE AND EDUCATION ..................................................................................15 PARENTAL RIGHTS/COMMUNITY CARE LICENSING ……..........16 CALIFORNIA IMMUNIZATION REQUIREMENTS …………….........17 PREPARING FOR YOUR CHILD’S FIRST DAY…………….............….18 KEEP YOUR CHILD HOME FOR THE DAY IF ...............………………19 FAQS FOR REFERRALS ……...........…………………………………….........20 FAQS FOR THE CENTRALIZED ELIGIBILITY LIST ........................21 YOUR EARLY CARE AND EDUCATION PLAN ...........................22 Getting Started ……………………………………………………………..…….23 Early Care and Education Referral Request Form ........……….……24 My Provider Appointments ..……………………….………………………..25 Choosing Quality Early Care and Education Checklist ....……...….26 Interview Questions for Quality Early Care and Education Programs.............................................................…...27 Interview Notes……………………………………………………………………28 Required Enrollment Documents…………………………...………………29 Letter to Child’s Provider…………………........………………………….…30

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QUALITY EARLY CARE AND EDUCATION WHAT TO LOOK FOR Finding the right program can be challenging but it is one of the most important decisions you will make. Knowing how to look for quality care will help you find the best program for your family. Along with a programs quality measures, consider other factors that may affect your final decision: • Is the location suitable? • Do their hours of operation work well with your schedule? • Is the cost within your budget? • Does the program’s attention to diversity meets your family’s unique needs and your child’s personal style best?

• SETTING: Offers a safe and healthy environment; provides low adult-to-child ratios encouraging the best opportunities for development; small group sizes. - Children are given opportunities to PLAY in a safe, stimulating environment with age- appropriate toys - There is a sufficient amount of learning materials for all children - There is adequate floor space in infant classrooms for cribs, and for infants to crawl and engage in nurturing activities - Toys are cleaned regularly and in good repair - Children are provided healthy food and drinks, and physical activity is incorporated throughout the day • PROVIDER: Provides warm, loving care and guidance with experience, education and training in the field; lower staff turnover rates. - Provider is attentive and responsive to child’s needs - Children are able to form strong attachment bonds with their provider - Provider screens for developmental, health, and emotional concerns and makes referrals to additional supports - Provider helps children express and understand feelings, build relationships, and regulate their behavior • ACTIVITIES: Age-appropriate activities to develop and promote your child’s success in school; offer opportunities for parent involvement. - Toys and books are exchanged regularly to maintain child’s interest - Adults communicate frequently by talking, reading and singing to the children - Parents are engaged as partners in their children’s learning, are able to meet with teacher and participate as volunteers, and are informed about how to support learning at home - Program addresses multiple areas of development aligned to California Infant/Toddler and Preschool Learning Foundations • PROGRAM PHILOSOPHY: Fits the needs of you and your child and is respectful of the child’s culture and background. - Developmentally Appropriate Practices involve teachers meeting young children where they are (by stage of development), both as individuals and as part of a group; and helping each child meet challenging and achievable learning goals

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QUALITY MATTERS Early brain and child development research shows that high-quality early care and education can yield significant short-term and long-term benefits for children including greater school success. When care is consistent, developmentally sound, and emotionally supportive, there is a positive effect on the child and the family. High quality programs produce high quality outcomes. Children who attend high-quality early care and education programs are more ready and willing to learn by the time they enter kindergarten, demonstrate better math and language skills, better cognition and social skills, better interpersonal relationships, and better behavioral self-regulation.

WHAT IS A QRIS? California is progressing towards a statewide Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) that may eventually be required for all licensed early care and education programs. A rating along with a review of licensing files and a match for family needs can help identify a quality program and guide providers in making improvements. A QRIS rating is similar to a rating of restaurants. A restaurant with an “A” rating could be seen as more desirable than a restaurant with a “C” rating. Eventually, statewide parents will be able to view a program’s QRIS rating when considering choosing their options for care. Parents may also be given a program’s rating during the process of receiving referrals from the state funded child care resource and referral agency serving their county.

The Quality Preschool Initiative (QPI) is a local QRIS funded primarily by First 5 San Diego to measure and increase the quality in infant and preschool settings throughout San Diego County. Over 300 center-based and family child care programs in San Diego County participate, demonstrating a commitment to providing quality care for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. P rograms are rated on key, research-based elements of quality and receive technical assistance to make improvements. Find participating programs at https://sdqpi.org

Ratings utilize reliable assessments, which can help you understand a program’s quality: • The early learning Environmental Rating Scales (ERS) are used to assess the quality of the learning environment for children. Programs with higher scores on the scale provide an environment rich in safe opportunities for exploration and development. • The Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) is used to assess the quality of interactions between children and teachers. Research has shown that higher scores on the CLASS are associated with greater child outcomes. • The Ages & Stages Questionnaire, Third Edition (ASQ-3) is a developmental screening designed to catch potential developmental delays in young children between the ages of one month to 5 ½ years. Evidence shows that the earlier development is assessed—the greater the chance a child has to reach his or her potential. • The Ages & Stages Questionnaires: Social Emotional-2 (ASQ: SE-2) is a first level screening tool that is designed to identify children who may be at risk for social or emotional difficulties.

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MATCHING YOUR CHILD’S STYLE TO THE RIGHT CHILD CARE SETTING

There is a wide variety of quality early learning program types. The questions below can help you develop a profile of your child, and learn more about the type of care that might best meet your child’s needs. WHAT IS YOUR CHILD’S PERSONAL STYLE?

Adaptable • Flexible • Approaches new people/situations with ease • Good with transitions - Look for: Large group settings providing social interaction and new experiences

Cautious • Thoughtful • Approaches new people/situations cautiously • Has difficulty with transitions - Look for: Small group settings that are less overwhelming

HOW DOES YOUR CHILD REACT TO THE WORLD? Big Reactors: • Communicates feelings and does not hold back - Look for: Caregivers who respect your child’s emotions but help your child to express them in a more controlled way

Low Reactors: • Fusses very little, plays quietly and sleeps a lot - Look for: Caregivers who gently introduce new activities

HOW ACTIVE IS YOUR CHILD? High Activity: • Is always on the go - Look for: Individual schedules, safe exploration and physical play

Low Activity: • Sits quietly, explores through eyes and ears - Look for: Caregivers who engage children in sensoryrich activities

Feisty

• Passionate, feels things intensely • Has difficulty controlling strong feelings, wants and needs - Look for: Programs where each child has a primary caregiver— someone who knows and understands your child (Note: All children benefit from this, but especially children who are passionate and persistent)

HOW SOCIAL IS YOUR CHILD? Super Social: • Enjoys approaching new people • Is happiest interacting with others - Look for: Opportunities for group play

Take It Slow: • Is shy around strangers • Needs time to warm up Look for: Programs that allow children to choose when they would like to play with others

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IS YOUR CHILD TOLERANT OF CHANGES AND CHALLENGES? High Tolerance: • Is not bothered by changes • Is adaptable • Copes well with frustration - Look for: Mixed-age settings that offer enjoyable challenges and stimulation

Low Tolerance: • Is sensitive to changes • Gets upset when daily routine is altered • Is easily frustrated, impatient - Look for: Same age settings with developmentally appropriate toys and activities

WWW.CHILDCAREAWARE.ORG/ RESOURCES/PRINTABLEMATERIALS/


DETAILS ON DIFFERENT TYPES OF SETTINGS FOR YOUR CHILD Quality early learning can be a wonderful and nurturing experience for your child and set the stage for lifelong success. A high-quality program can help your child learn, develop, and thrive. On the next few pages you will find some common definitions of types of settings and general information to make your choice a little easier.

CHILD CARE OR PRESCHOOL CENTER LOCATION: Care takes place in a commercial facility. SCHEDULES: Full and part time schedules typically following traditional work hours. School or full year. STAFF QUALIFICATIONS: • Director: 12 units child development and 4 years’ experience • Teacher: 12 units child development and 6 months experience • Teacher Aide: 6 units child development, 18 years old, high school graduate or enrolled in an Regional Occupational Program at an accredited high school. HEALTH & SAFETY: Background clearance, CPR, First Aid, Preventative Health Practices certified, TDAP and MMR. Announced and unannounced site inspections from Community Care Licensing.

SCHOOL READINESS: Varies. Structured, age appropriate activities that support learning may or may not be offered. Having a group of children allows providers to facilitate age appropriate activities, establish routines and build skills that support school readiness. Not required by licensing. MEALS: Required to provide healthy meals and snacks. Menus must meet USDA Child & Adult Care Food Program nutritional guidelines. MONITORING: Licensed and monitored by the State of California, Community Care Licensing, 619-767-2200.

MAXIMUM ADULT:CHILD RATIOS 1:4 infants (0-24 mos.)

1:12 preschoolers (2-5 yrs.)

1:14 school age (5-12 yrs.)

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FAMILY CHILD CARE HOME LOCATION: Care takes place in the provider’s home. SCHEDULES: Full and part time schedules. May offer traditional, evening, night, weekend, early morning or overnight care. STAFF QUALIFICATIONS: Must be at least 18 years of age and live in the home. Large family child care home applicants must show proof of 1 year experience as a small family child care home licensee or as a teacher or director of a licensed child care center. HEALTH & SAFETY: Background clearance, CPR, First Aid, Preventative Health Practices certified, TDAP and MMR. Announced and unannounced site inspections from Community Care Licensing.

SCHOOL READINESS: Varies. Structured, age appropriate activities that support learning may or may not be offered. Having a group of children allows providers to facilitate age appropriate activities, establish routines and build skills that support school readiness. Not required by licensing. MEALS: Required to provide healthy meals and snacks. Menus must meet USDA Child & Adult Care Food Program nutritional guidelines. MONITORING: Licensed and monitored by the State of California, Community Care Licensing, 619-767-2200.

MAXIMUM ADULT:CHILD RATIOS LARGE FAMILY CHILD CARE LICENSE 12 children (with a qualified assistant) No more than 4 infants* and the remaining children are over 2 years of age. *An infant is a child under 24 months.

SMALL FAMILY CHILD CARE LICENSE 4 infants ONLY *An infant is a child under 24 months.

OR 6 Children No more than 3 infants* and the remaining children are over 2 years of age.

When there is no qualified assistant, 14 years of age or older present, the capacity reverts back to the requirements for a small family child care. The assistant must not be left alone with children at any time, if under the age of 18. OR 14 children (with a qualified assistant) No more than 3 infants* and 1 child is at least 6 years and 1 child is in and attending kindergarten or elementary school.

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OR 8 children No more than 2 infants* (during any time when more than six children are cared for), one child is enrolled in and attending transitional kindergarten/kindergarten or elementary school and a second child is at least six year of age or older.


FAMILY, FRIEND, NEIGHBOR LICENSE-EXEMPT (INFORMAL CARE) LOCATION: Care takes place in parent’s or caregiver’s home. SCHEDULES: Availability varies. Family and caregiver arrange time and location of care. STAFF QUALIFICATIONS: No minimum education, training, or experience is required. May participate in trainings, schooling or other professional development activities. HEALTH & SAFETY: Select providers who are contracted with a subsidy program may need to complete a background clearance. Not required to be CPR, First Aid and Preventative Health Practices certified.

SCHOOL READINESS: Varies. Structured, age appropriate activities that support learning may or may not be offered. MEALS: May or may not provide healthy meals and snacks. Not eligible to participate in the USDA Child & Adult Care Food Program. ADULT:CHILD RATIOS Varies; May only care for children of one family in addition to their own, in order to be legally license exempt. MONITORING: Not licensed; monitoring is the responsibility of the parent.

If the family being cared for is receiving assistance with their costs, the caregiver must obtain a background check through the TrustLine Program. All caregivers who have been cleared with TrustLine, have no current disqualifying criminal convictions or substantiated child abuse reports in California. The exceptions to this requirement are grandparents, aunts, and uncles.

To check if a provider is registered on TrustLine, call 1-800-822-8490.

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STATE & FEDERALLY-FUNDED PROGRAMS (STATE PRESCHOOLS, CHILD DEVELOPMENT CENTERS, HEAD START & EARLY HEAD START)

LOCATION: Care takes place in a commercial facility. SCHEDULES: Full and part time schedules typically following traditional work hours; School or full year. STAFF QUALIFICATIONS: College level courses, Child Development Permit and ongoing training. HEALTH & SAFETY: Background clearance, CPR, First Aid, Preventative Health Practices certified, TDAP and MMR. Announced and unannounced site inspections from Community Care Licensing. SCHOOL READINESS: Required to provide age and developmentally appropriate learning experiences for all children; Uses assessments to gauge child’s abilities. Must document and inform parents of child’s growth and development.

MEALS: Required to provide healthy meals and snacks. Menus must meet USDA Child & Adult Care Food Program nutritional guidelines. MONITORING: Licensed and monitored by the State of California, Community Care Licensing, 619-767-2200, and state or federal auditors. For more information on eligibility for these programs, see pages 12-14.

MAXIMUM ADULT:CHILD RATIOS STATE FUNDED 1:3 infants (0-18 mos.)

1:4 toddlers (18 mos-3 yrs.)

FEDERALLY FUNDED 1:4 infants (0-18 mos.)

1:4 toddlers (18 mos-3 yrs.)

1:8 preschoolers (3-5 yrs.) 1:10 preschoolers (3-5 yrs.)

1:14 school age (5-12 yrs.)

Participation in these programs is based on family size and income.

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FIND EARLY CARE AND EDUCATION PROVIDERS NEAR YOU Every county in California has a state-funded child care resource and referral program. The YMCA Childcare Resource Service is IT for San Diego County! All licensed centers and family child care homes, nanny agencies and license-exempt school-based programs are listed in our free referral database. Every customized referral includes the name of the program, telephone number, license number, and additional information. For frequently asked questions about referrals, see page 20.

4 WAYS TO RECEIVE REFERRALS Call the Referral Line to speak with a child care consultant: 1-800-481-2151

Complete and submit a referral request form (page 24)

Receive the referrals in person: 4451 30th Street, San Diego, CA 92116

Search online at: www.ymcasd.org/ crs Click on:

1. Child Care Referrals 2. Search Online

ENHANCED REFERRALS For Children with Special Needs

• A specialized search of our referral database for licensed family child care homes and centers that have training or education in working with children who have special needs.

• Support to help you create an early partnership with your provider. • Assistance to parents and providers seeking resources on special needs, training, parent support, inclusive care, ADA regulations, and referrals to community programs and resources throughout San Diego County.

For Military Families

• Assist military families with locating a program off base. - A specialized search of our referral database to locate qualified programs.

• Active duty and deployed service members may qualify for a national fee assistance program. - Fee assistance varies based on the service member’s status and branch of service.

When you invest time and thought in your search, you can find a provider who offers a secure, safe and nurturing environment for your child. FUNDED BY FIRST 5 SAN DIEGO | 11


FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR EARLY CARE AND EDUCATION Interested in finding help to pay for child care? Some quality early care and education providers provide tuition assistance through scholarships and loans – check with providers to learn what they can offer. There are also options for public financial assistance. These include: • • •

State-funded early learning programs including the California State Preschool Program and general child care and development program, Federally-funded early learning programs including Head Start and Early Head Start, and Child care subsidies for families who participate in CalWORKs or who have received cash aid within the last 24 months.

State-Funded Options California State Preschool Program

Child Development Center

a) Free part-day (3½ hours) comprehensive child development program. b) Generally operates from August through June or September through June. c) Serves children 3 to 4 years old from low-income families. d) Priority given to families with open cases with the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). e) Some operate a full day for income-eligible parents needing to maintain employment, meet work participation requirements, or participate in education or job training.

a) Serves infants and toddlers, 6 weeks to 3 years old, from low-income families. b) Full day or part day options may be available. c) Provides lower adult to child ratios than other programs. d) Families are assessed a fee based on their income. e) To qualify, parent/guardian must be: working, seeking employment, enrolled in school or job training, seeking permanent housing or incapacitated.

THE CENTRALIZED ELIGIBILITY LIST (CEL)

San Diego County CEL enables families to have access to programs for which they qualify by submitting one application to the San Diego County CEL at www.childcaresandiego.com. Child care subsidy agencies use the CEL to enroll eligible families into their programs to receive fee assistance. CEL is an eligibility list that determines which families should be served first based on factors such as income, family size and other needs, when space becomes available. Qualifying for subsidized care is based on gross monthly income from all sources (before taxes), family size, and need. In addition, families must live in San Diego County to qualify.

2020 STATE INCOME ELIGIBILITY LEVELS Family Size Monthly Income Level

1-2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

$5,540 $6,157 $7,069 $8,199 $9,330 $9,542 $9,755 $9,967 $10,179 $10,391 $10,603

In order to be considered income-eligible, families must meet State Income Requirements and have at least one of the following needs: a) Working

d) Attending school or in training

f) Seeking permanent housing

b) Looking for work

e) Receiving Child Protective Services (CPS)

g) Seeking part-day educational preschool

c) Medically incapacitated

Above are the income eligibility limits of the CEL. This means that families with a gross monthly income below these State Income Levels might qualify for assistance. For frequently asked questions about CEL, see page 21.

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FEDERALLY-FUNDED OPTIONS Head Start Program

Early Head Start

a) Free part-day (at least 3½ hours) child development program for low-income and preschoolers with special needs. b) Serves children 3 to 5 years old, with priority given to 4 year olds. c) Priority given to families most in need, including families at risk and/or in crisis, and children with special needs. d) Some Head Start Programs operate a full day for income-eligible parents needing to maintain employment, meet work participation requirements, or participate in education or job training.

a) A free comprehensive early education program. b) Serves low-income pregnant women and infants and toddlers from birth to age 3, including young children with special needs. c) Services may be provided in the home of the family (home-based), a licensed family child care home, and/or a center. d) Focuses on healthy development of infants and toddlers, prenatal care and family support systems. e) Programs may be half day, full day, evening, or home-based.

Your Consultant was very helpful and gave me great child care leads. Also put my mind at ease. I’m a single father and new to all this. She answered all my questions and then some. I found a great fit for my son with special needs and we’re very happy. Thank You! (Enhanced referral service for children with disabilities)

2020 FEDERAL INCOME ELIGIBILITY LEVELS FAMILY SIZE Annual Income Guidelines

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

$12,880

$17,420

$21,960

$26,500

$31,040

$35,580

$40,120

$44,660

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CHILD CARE SUBSIDIES In addition to state- and federally-funded early care and education programs, families may be eligible for help paying for child care through two other subsidies: 1. CalWORKS Stage 1:

CalWORKs is designed to transition people from welfare to work. It provides temporary cash assistance to eligible families with minor children, to move families with children from dependency to self-sufficiency through employment. For more information go to www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/sdc/hhsa

How to apply for CalWORKS: a) Apply online at www.mybenefitscalwin.org. However, families are still required to attend a face-to-face interview at your nearest Family Resource Center to complete the application process. OR b) In person-Visit your local Family Resource Center that accepts requests to receive assistance from the CalWORKs program to complete the application and interview process. To locate your nearest Family Resource Center call 866-262-9881. NOTE: • If the person needing care has already applied for and is receiving CalWORKs cash assistance, contact the Welfare to Work or Cal-Learn worker as appropriate. • If you are requesting Immediate Need (emergency benefits) it is recommended that you apply in person at the nearest Family Resource Center.

2. The Alternative Payment Program (AP)

Alternative Payment contracts with the California Department of Education, Child Development Division. They make full or partial payment to qualified families whose income does not exceed 70% of the State Median Income and who have a need for care.

How to apply for AP Program: a) If the applying adult in the family has been on cash aid within the last 24 months, has a need for care, and meets the income requirements, contact the Intake Unit at 619-474-4707 ext. 2485 for an evaluation. b) If the applying adult in the family has never been on aid or was on aid more than 24 months ago, has a need for care, and meets the income requirements, submit an application to San Diego County Centralized Eligibility List (CEL).

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FIVE STEPS TO CHOOSING QUALITY EARLY CARE AND EDUCATION LOOK

Begin by visiting several family child care homes or centers. On each visit, think about your first impression. Does the program look safe for your child? Are the caregivers/teachers talking and playing with children? Do they talk with each child at the child’s eye level? Are there plenty of toys and learning materials within a child’s reach? You should always visit a home or center more than once. Stay as long as possible so you can get a good feel for what the care will be like for your child. Even after you start using the care, continue to come back and check it out.

LISTEN

Do the children sound happy and involved? What about the provider’s tone of voice? Do they seem cheerful and patient? A place that’s too quiet may mean not enough activity is planned. A place that’s too noisy may mean there is a lack of guidance.

COUNT

Count the number of children in the group and the number of staff members caring for them. Usually the fewer the number of children for each adult, the more attention your child will get. A small number of children per adult is most important for babies and younger children. The license should be posted and list the number of children allowed.

ASK

The knowledge and experience of the adults caring for your child is very important. Ask about the background, education, and experience of all staff: providers, teachers, and program directors. What special training do they have? Quality providers/teachers will be happy to answer these questions.

BE INFORMED

Find out if the provider participates in quality improvement activities like the Quality Preschool Initiative or the YMCA-CRS Wellness Champion program. Ask if the provider belongs to any professional organizations or if they have achieved national accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Call the San Diego office of Community Care Licensing to find out if the program has had licensing violations at (619) 767-2200.

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PARENTAL RIGHTS California Department of Education As a parent you have the right to ensure your child’s well-being while he/she is in the care of a provider.

If you have concerns… If you have concerns about the care your child is receiving, trust your instincts. Contact California Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing (CDSS/CCL) at 1-844-538-8766 for help and support. If you suspect abuse or neglect, remove your child from the caregiving situation immediately.

Report complaints anonymously… Report any complaints anonymously about the health and safety of children to CDSS/CCL. In most cases, a visit to the site will take place within 10 days of receiving the complaint. Parents also need to be aware that providers are required to report any suspected child abuse or neglect to Community Care Licensing.

COMMUNITY CARE LICENSING The majority of child care or preschool centers and all family child care homes are licensed by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) Community Care Licensing division (CCL) to ensure that minimum health and safety standards are met.

View Provider’s Licensing History Review a potential provider’s public record to obtain information on substantiated or inconclusive complaints and violations before placing your child in their care. Copies of the licensing reports must be kept on-site at family child care homes and centers. If they are not available on-site, contact Community Care Licensing.

ONLINE

PHONE

IN PERSON

For general information visit: www.ccld.ca.gov

Call CCL at:1-844-LET-US-NO (1-844-538-8766)

CCL Regional Office 7575 Metropolitan Dr. #110 San Diego, 92108 To make an appointment call: 619-767-2200

For additional help or support, call the YMCA Childcare Resource Service at 1-800-481-2151.

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CALIFORNIA IMMUNIZATION REQUIREMENTS The California School Immunization Law requires that children be up-to-date on their immunizations (shots) to attend a program. AGE WHEN ENROLLING

IMMUNIZATIONS (SHOTS) NEEDED

2 - 3 months

1 each of Polio, DTP, Hib, Hep B

4 - 5 months

2 each of Polio, DTP, Hib, Hep B

6 - 14 months

3 DTP 2 each of Polio, Hib and Hep B

15- 17 months

3 each of Polio and DTP 2 Hep B 1 MMR; must be on or after the first birthday 1 Hib given on or after the first birthday

18 months - 5 years

3 each of Polio and Hep B 4 DTP 1 MMR; must be on or after the first birthday 1 Hib given on or after the first birthday 1 Varicella

Parents-keep your vaccinations up-to-date so you can volunteer in your child’s early care and education program! DTP: Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis combined vaccine. Record may show DTP, DT, or DTaP. Hib: Haemophilus influenza type B vaccine; not required for children older than 4-1/2 years of age. MMR: Measles, mumps and rubella combined vaccine. Hep B: Hepatitis B Varicella: Chickenpox WHAT YOU WILL NEED FOR ADMISSION: To attend a facility, your child’s Immunization Record must show the date for each required shot above. If you do not have an Immunization Record, or your child has not received all required shots, visit your doctor or local clinic. If a licensed physician determines a vaccine should not be given to your child because of medical reasons, submit a written statement from the physician for a medical exemption for the missing shot(s), including the duration of the medical exemption. Information provided by www.shotsforschool.org

A personal beliefs exemption is no longer an option for entry into an early care and education program; however a valid personal beliefs exemption fled with a facility before January 1, 2016 is valid until entry into the next grade span (transitional kindergarten through 6th grade) and may be transferred between facilities in California. The California Immunization Handbook and complementary tools are available electronically at www.shotsforschool.org/laws/records-forms/. Family Health Centers of San Diego has over 35 locations throughout San Diego County where families can receive affordable immunizations. To find a local clinic in your area, go to: www.fhcsd.org/clinic-locations/ or call (619) 515-2300. Family child care homes and centers, as part of their licensure requirements, must maintain vaccination records for their employees and volunteers for influenza, pertussis, TDAP, MMR and measles.

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PREPARING FOR YOUR CHILD’S FIRST DAY

10 Helpful Tips 1. Use pretend play to explore the idea of starting care.

6. Label your child’s items, i.e. backpack, blanket, etc.

2. Read children’s books about going to preschool.

7. Think about creating a special good-bye routine.

3. Young children often regress in some areas; have patience, be supportive and nurturing during this time.

8. On their first day, plan to stay at least 10-15 minutes to explore with your child.

4. If your child has never socialized with other children, you could take him/her to playgroups before they are due to start care. 5. Consider establishing a bedtime routine at least 2 weeks before their first day.

9. Try not to look worried or sad; say a quick, upbeat good-bye and reassure your child that all will be well. 10. Resist the urge to rescue your child when crying after you leave. Trust the provider to comfort and support your child.

A few suggested books for first day jitters, fears of the unknown and separation anxieties: Maisy Goes to Preschool by Lucy Cousins

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn

Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney

I Love You All Day Long by Francesca Rusackas

My First Day at Nursery School by Becky Edwards

Preschool Day Hooray! by Linda Leopold Strauss

Little School by Beth Norling

Visit your local library for books and other resource materials.

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KEEP YOUR CHILD HOME FOR THE DAY IF…

I’M VOMITING. 2 or more times in 24 hours.

I HAVE DIARRHEA.

I HAVE A SORE THROAT.

I HAVE A RASH.

2 or more watery stools more than usual.

With a fever or swollen glands.

AND fever or mouth sores with drooling.

I HAVE HEAD LICE.

I HAVE AN EYE INFECTION.

AND have not had my first treatment yet.

Red eyes with white or yellow mucus AND haven’t seen a doctor yet.

I’M JUST NOT FEELING VERY GOOD.

WE HAVE A FEVER.

Unusually tired, pale, lack of appetite, cranky or in pain.

AND sore throat, cough, rash, vomiting, diarrhea, pain or just not feeling good.

WHEN YOUR CHILD IS SICK:

BE SURE TO:

1. Does the child’s illness keep him/ her from comfortably taking part in activities? 2. Does the sick child need more care than the staff can give without affecting the health and safety of other children? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, then the child should not go to care or school.

• Tell your provider about your child’s signs of illness, even if your child stays home. • Have a back-up plan for care. Thanks to the Seattle-King County Department of Public Health and The California Childcare Health Program for this information.

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Frequently Asked Questions for Referrals What are the Referral line hours of availability?

Families can call the referral line at any time or leave a message after hours and a child care consultant will contact them the next business day. Business Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

I do not have an email address; can I pick up my list of referrals? Yes, our office is located at: YMCA Childcare Resource Service 4451 30th Street, San Diego, CA 92116

How long will the referral phone call take?

A quality referral call will take approximately 20 minutes. Our child care consultants will provide you with important information to help you make an informed decision and ask in-depth questions to identify options that best fit your need.

Can you recommend a quality program for my child? We will provide you with program options based on your request but we are not able to make recommendations. We suggest using the tools and checklists provided to help you observe and evaluate all the programs provided through our referral process. You can always view a potential provider’s public record to obtain information on their licensing history.

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After receiving the list of providers, what are my next steps?

Begin calling the providers on your list and verify they still have spaces available. If you are receiving financial assistance for care, ask if they are willing to accept this type of payment. For more information regarding financial assistance refer to pages 11-13.

Should I take my child with me when I visit a program?

This may depend on your preference and the age, mobility and temperament of your child. Some parents want to see the interaction between the caregiver and child or how comfortable the child is in the environment. Other parents prefer to observe the program and ask questions without having to soothe or chase their child, and bring their child to visit the programs that seemed the best match.

How do I know if there are too many children in the classroom?

Centers and family child care homes are required to post their license where it can be seen by families and visitors. The license tells visitors the license capacity or maximum number of children that may be present.

Who do I call if I see something that concerns me while visiting a program?

You can contact Community Care Licensing (CCL) to report anything you feel is not appropriate. To file a complaint regarding a state licensed facility, call 1-844538-8766.


Frequently Asked Questions for The Centralized Eligibility List (CEL) How long will I wait?

There is no estimated length of time that families wait before receiving assistance. Unfortunately, families must simply wait to be contacted by a subsidized program for an enrollment opportunity. Whenever one of the state subsidized programs (Casa De Amparo, Chicano Federation, Child Development Associates, Inc., Easter Seals Southern California-Leucadia, Educational Enrichment Systems, Inc., & YMCA Childcare Resource Service) in the county has an opening, they will use the CEL to fill their vacancy. Participating programs prioritize family enrollments according to State regulations. Therefore, it is critical that you keep your application (including contact information and income) up-to-date at all times because it will affect your eligibility.

Does placing my name and information on the CEL mean I qualify for immediate assistance? Generally, enrollment into subsidized

What is Subsidized Care?

Subsidized care is financial assistance offered to income eligible families to cover part or all of their costs, depending on their needs. Among the list of income eligible families, priority for obtaining subsidized care is given to families and children referred for Child Protective Services (CPS). Priority on the CEL for families with an active CPS case is given to Foster, natural and/or relative caregivers.

Can a family apply for CEL if their household income is zero?

Yes, a family can complete the application with zero income. However, they will be required to submit a self-declaration explaining how the family is financially supporting itself without income.

What is the Enrollment Process after I‘ve applied?

programs is based on family size and income with lower-income families having a higher probability of being called for assistance followed by moderate-income families. Having an application on the CEL does not guarantee assistance.

1. A family’s application becomes eligible from the CEL in rank order.

Can I get “bumped up” on the list?

3. The family attends an intake appointment

There is no way to get “bumped up” on the list. However, the State grants preference to families that have an active Child Protective Services case in order to remove children from a harmful environment. It is very important that you keep your family’s information current on the CEL when changes occur. We encourage families to update their information every 3 to 5 months. If families do not keep their information updated their application may be inactivated from the list and risk missing an opportunity to receive assistance. Information such as a phone number, address, family size or income changes, must be updated immediately.

I’ve identified a center/family child care home that will accept my child. Can I receive help right away? No. You must wait until a subsidized program contacts you. Families can be contacted by any type of program, including an Alternative Payment Program (APP) agency. Alternative Payment Programs provide parents with the option of choosing any licensed or non-licensed provider in the county to care for their children and the program will cover all or part of the payment. An Alternative Payment Program reimburses providers in San Diego County for caring for your child(ren) as long as the provider is willing to accept payment. These programs have limited funding and often do not have vacancies.

2. The family receives a phone call, a letter in the mail, or an e-mail indicating that their application is eligible. 4. Visit the CEL Website for more information. (www.childcaresandiego.com) *Families are enrolled in the Alternative Payment program either through the San Diego County Centralized Eligibility List (CEL) or because they are transferred from the county

Are there any programs that can help me with my costs besides CEL? Yes. Head Start is one such program. Head Start receives funding from the federal government to assist eligible families with a part-day and in some cases, full-day preschool for children. Contact Head Start to inquire about program requirements. Another option may be a State Preschool Program. Call our Referral Line at 1-800-481-2151 for more information. NHA Head Start - Central: (888) 873-5145 AKA Head Start - East County: (619) 444-0503 ECS Head Start - South Bay: (619) 228-2800 MAAC Head Start – North County: (760) 471-4210

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YOUR EARLY CARE AND EDUCATION PLAN We’ve compiled some templates and examples of various forms to help you complete your plan. You can download a digital copy at http://bit.ly/choosingchildcaredocs or call 1-800-481-2151 to request the digital templates.

• GETTING STARTED • EARLY CARE AND EDUCATION REFERRAL REQUEST FORM • MY PROVIDER APPOINTMENTS • CHOOSING QUALITY EARLY CARE AND EDUCATION CHECKLIST • INTERVIEW QUESTIONS FOR QUALITY EARLY CARE AND EDUCATION PROGRAMS • INTERVIEW NOTES • REQUIRED ENROLLMENT DOCUMENTS • LETTER TO CHILD’S PROVIDER

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GETTING STARTED It’s never too early to start your Early Care and Education Plan! Listed below are the steps to guide you through the process of f i nding a quality program.

FIRST STEPS 1. Write down what you as a parent want and need from a provider. Also consider the type of program, hours and area of care. Review Matching Your Child’s Style on page 6 to help you find the best fit for your child. • Do you need help with the cost of care? Review Financial Assistance for Early Care and Education on pages 12-14 to help determine if you qualify for subsidized programs. 2. Begin your free search by contacting the YMCA CRS Referral Line at 1-800-481-2151. Consultants will ask a variety of questions to better meet your family’s needs. Before you call, review the Early Care and Education Referral Request Form on the next page to help you prepare. • The toll free line is open: Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. • Leave a message at any time and a child care consultant will contact you on the next business day.

SCHEDULE MY APPOINTMENTS 3. Review your referrals to providers near you. Prepare your questions, schedule interviews and site visits. Call and schedule as many visits as possible so you can compare and make a good choice. Here are some initial questions to ask when scheduling visits: • Do you have availability for a ____ (age of child) year old? • Can you tell me a little about your program? • I would like to visit on __________________________. (Specific day & time) • Use My Provider Appointments on page 25 to keep track of scheduled appointments.

PREPARE FOR MY VISIT 4. Review the helpful steps for Choosing a Quality Early Care and Education Program on page 15.

5. Bring your Choosing Quality Early Care and Education Checklist on page 26 and Interview Questions For Quality Early Care And Education Programs on page 27 , to each visit. • The checklist will help you evaluate the program. You can complete the checklist during or after the visit to reflect on what you experienced.

FINAL STEPS 6. Contact Community Care Licensing (CCL) to review public record files for all of the programs you are considering; see Parental Rights/CCL on page 16 for the licensing contact information. Review any QPI programs or accreditation information at https://sdqpi.org and http://families.naeyc.org.

7. Review your checklists and notes. Choose a quality program that best meets your child’s needs. • Contact the program to begin the enrollment process. • Be involved in your child’s program and continuously monitor the quality of care your child receives.

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EARLY CARE AND EDUCATION REFERRAL REQUEST FORM Date F ir s t N a m e

Last Name

Physical Address City

Zip Code

Hom e Phone

Cell Phone

E-mail address Reason Needing Care:

Employed/Volunteer

School/Training

Employer Name

Looking for work Zip Code

Language Preference:

English

For statistical purposes only: Type of Care Needed:

Spanish Two-Parent Family Part-time

Rotating Shift

Before/After School

Facility Type Preference:

Evenings

Teen-Parent Overnight

Weekends

Temporary/Emergency

Pick-up time

Family Child Care Home

Near Home

Near Work/Other

Single-Parent

Full-time

Hours of Care Needed: Drop-off time

Care Preferred:

Other

Days: S M T W Th F S

Child Care Center

Both

Near Elementary School

(Address)

Child 1

Child 2

Child 3

Name Date of Birth

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

Special Needs Care Needed Child 4

Child 5

Child 6

Name Date of Birth

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

Special Needs Care Needed Submit this form by fax to 619-521-3050 or scan and E-mail to myreferral@ymcasd.org. To speak to a Child Care Consultant call the Child Care Referral Line at 1-800-481-2151 or visit our web site www.ymsdca.org/crs to search for child care online. For Office Use Only: Consultant Providing Services Date R equest R eceived

Date R eferrals Given

Notes

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* Form provided by YMCA CHILDCARE RESOURCE SERVICE


MY PROVIDER APPOINTMENTS Name:

Telephone:

Address:

Meeting Date/Time:

Notes:

Name:

Telephone:

Address:

Meeting Date/Time:

Notes:

Name:

Telephone:

Address:

Meeting Date/Time:

Notes:

Name:

Telephone:

Address:

Meeting Date/Time:

Notes:

Name:

Telephone:

Address:

Meeting Date/Time:

Notes:

Name:

Telephone:

Address:

Meeting Date/Time:

Notes:

* Form provided by YMCA CHILDCARE RESOURCE SERVICE

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CHOOSING QUALITY EARLY CARE AND EDUCATION CHECKLIST Program Name:

Date: Phone:

Address:

This checklist will help you evaluate the program. You can complete the checklist during or after the visit to reflect on what you experienced. SETTING Environment has natural lighting and uses natural colors Fenced outdoor play area with a variety of safe equipment Children are supervised at all times Area for resting Areas for quiet and active play Ample space for the children Children’s work is at eye level and reflects diversity PROVIDER/TEACHER Provider is patient, warm, and accepting Provider and children look happy together Provider speaks to the children at eye level Children’s needs are quickly met Enough staff to ensure proper safety Provider has experience, education, and training in the field Provider screens for developmental and behavioral concerns Provider helps children express and understand feelings ACTIVITIES Opportunities to enjoy free play, outdoor play, story time, planned activities and nap time Daily schedule and lesson plan are posted Enough materials for all children present Toys are clean, free of hazards, and within the child’s reach TV and video viewing are limited to short educational programs

THE PROGRAM Program philosophy and values are similar to yours Positive guidance is used to help children learn self-control Children are comforted when needed Parents are encouraged to visit at any time Contract, fees, late charges, and other policies are reviewed Nutritional meals and snacks are provided State license and emergency plan is posted Providers communicate daily with parents about their child Regular meetings are scheduled to discuss the child’s development Parents can volunteer and are supported to continue learning at home Program addresses multiple areas of learning and development Physical activity is incorporated throughout the day CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS Provider has special training, skill or experience with children with special needs Program is accessible and safe for the child, and accommodates adaptive equipment Children with special needs are included and activities are adapted to their needs and abilities Provider is open to attending the IEP or IFSP meetings

Quality early care and education will offer your child a stimulating, nurturing environment which should help prepare them for school and to reach his or her full potential. Quality care environments far exceed minimum standards set by the state and provide a stimulating, loving atmosphere in which your child will mentally, socially, emotionally and physically thrive.

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INTERVIEW QUESTIONS FOR QUALITY EARLY CARE AND EDUCATION PROGRAMS After taking a tour, take a minute to ask the provider or director the following questions to learn more about the program. • General Questions -

What are your hours of operation? What is the group size? (Fewer the number, the more attention your child will get) What are the weekly/monthly rates for your program? Is there a registration fee or any other additional costs? What is your vacation and late fee policy? What is your policy on when a child is sick? How soon can they return? How often will my child have a new teacher/provider? How do you support the professional development and education of your program and staff? Is outside food allowed in the program? Do you participate in any quality improvement efforts like the San Diego Quality Preschool Initiative or the YMCA-CRS Wellness Champion program? - Have you had any external assessments, ratings, or accreditations conducted? If so, can you describe the results?

• Health & Safety

- How often are staff and children’s hands washed? - What is the procedure for the cleaning & sanitizing of the diaper changing station? - How often are toys cleaned and sanitized? - Do children attend field trips? If so, how do you transport them? - What is your emergency plan? - What happens if a child is ill or hurt while they are in care? - How do you maintain CPR, First Aid and Immunization requirements for your staff?

• Parent/Provider Communication - How is parent involvement encouraged? - How will you communicate with me about my child? Conferences, daily sheets, letters, phone app, etc.

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INTERVIEW NOTES

Use this space to answer the interview questions on the previous page. General Questions

Health & Safety

Parent/Provider Communication

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REQUIRED ENROLLMENT DOCUMENTS

Below is a general list of information that most Early Care and Education programs require for enrollment. Parent or primary caregiver’s contact information including name, address, email and telephone numbers (e.g. home, work, school, and/or cell).

Record of current medications, including the name of the doctor and instructions for providing the medications to the child.

Names and contact information of individuals who could be called in an emergency when parent or primary caregiver is unavailable.

The following documents may be required for enrollment. The need for these forms depends on the type of program and the family’s circumstances.

Names and telephone numbers of people who may or may NOT pick up your child.

Copy of child’s original birth certificate with name, date of birth and gender.

Physical form (provided by the program) with current TB clearance completed by a doctor. For your home records, keep forms from visits to pediatrician.

Rent receipts or utility bills to verify residence within a particular service area or school district.

Copy of child’s current Immunization Record (update annually). Any information about the child’s food restrictions and allergies. Contact information, including the name, address and telephone number of the child’s doctor and dentist, in case of emergency.

Documentation of child’s special need. Documentation of family at risk or in crisis (i.e. court referral, treatment center, etc.). Evidence of family’s annual or monthly income, if applicable.

Information provided by: Office of Child Care, SIB/CEO, County of Los Angeles & CDSS/CCL FUNDED BY FIRST 5 SAN DIEGO | 29


LETTER TO MY CHILD’S PROVIDER Dear (Provider’s Name)

Here are some suggestions to get to know

a little better.

(Child’s Name)

I would describe my child’s temperament or personality as: (Ex: adventurous, shy, strong-willed, sociable, imaginative, persistent, adaptable, attentive) How my child shows his feelings when: Happy Fearful Upset Tired My child is most easily settled when upset or afraid by:

My child’s favorite food is: My child dislikes:

My child has a security object:

blanket

soother

bottle

toy

none

Other object(s):

I believe you will always provide warm, loving guidance and positive social experiences to support my child’s growth and development. Thank you,

(Parent’s Name)

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ON YOUR WAY TO QUALITY CARE AND EDUCATION


OUR MISSION FIRST 5 First 5 San Diego builds the early care and education systems and supports needed to ensure our County’s youngest children are safe, healthy and ready to succeed in school and life.

YMCA OF SAN DIEGO COUNTY The YMCA of San Diego County is dedicated to improving the quality of human life and to helping all people realize their fullest potential as children of God through the development of the spirit, mind and body.

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© 2018 First 5 California © 2018 First 5 San Diego