Searching for a childcare provider can be overwhelming. At Marin Child Care Council, we provide help by connecting families with childcare providers. Our Resource & Referral team keeps an active database of childcare providers in Marin County that includes family child cares, centers, preschools and nursery schools. Our Resource & Referral specialist meets one-on-one with families to provide referrals that fit their unique circumstances. We welcome providers to contact us if they would like to be included in our database, and we encourage families to call, email, or stop by to discuss all the options available.
Choosing the best childcare for your child can be a difficult decision – there are so many things to consider. Marin Child Care Council can help make your decision easier.
Marin Child Care Council offers free and convenient ways to obtain referrals to child care programs in your area.
1. Call and Speak to a Resource and Referral Specialist
Dial the referral line at 415.479.2273 to speak with a childcare referral specialist. Spanish-speaking counselors are available.
2. Do it yourself through "mychildcareplan"
3. Email Us
You can send us an email and one of our Resource and Referral Specialists will contact you directly. If you have any questions about the referral process, or for an enhanced referral you may contact one of the following:
4. Please check out the guides "Choosing child care"
Resource and Referral
Child Care Resource and Referral (R&R) agencies are located in every county in California. Over the last four decades, R&R services have evolved from a grassroots effort to help parents find child care, to a well-developed system that supports parents, providers, and local communities in finding, planning for, and providing affordable, quality child care.
The state supported these efforts through the California Department of Education, Child Development Division, and now through the California Department of Social Services (CDSS), Child Care & Development Division (CCDD) since 1979.
Local resource and referral agencies:
Maintain comprehensive databases of child care providers in their communities, including licensed family child care homes and child care centers
Help parents find child care that best meets their family needs
Track providers' licensing status, the languages they speak, the age groups they serve, the schedules they offer, and the number of spaces available in centers or family child care homes
Work with providers to improve the quality of child care and to maintain and expand the supply of child care in each county,
Provide training and other services that help providers stay in business
Educate and Advocate local communities and leaders to understand child care issues and to plan effectively to address child care needs
R&R services are free and available to all parents and child care providers.
Marin Child Care Council (MC3) is a private non-profit agency that has provided a variety of services to children and families in Marin County since 1979. The mission of the Marin Child Care Council is to improve the availability, accessibility and affordability of a range of child care options.
Marin Child Care Council maintains information on over 300 caregivers, including licensed family childcare homes, and licensed and license-exempt child care centers. MC3 offers a variety of programs that have been designed to support and assist parents and child care providers, and to educate decision makers and the community about child care legislation, trends and issues.
Marin Child Care Council operates in accordance with applicable state and federal laws governing non-profit organizations. The agency is governed by a Board of Directors that establishes policy. MC3 operates on a non-discriminatory basis and gives equal treatment and access to services without regard to race, color, creed, sex, religion, marital status, age, national origin or ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, sexual orientation, or any other consideration made unlawful by federal, state or local laws.
Referral services are available to licensed public or private child care centers and family child care homes and licensed exempt centers. They are available to all persons free of charge regardless of income level or other eligibility requirements. MC3 does not recommend any particular childcare providers, facilities or services. These referrals are intended to provide parents with a range of choices, and should in no instance be thought of as a recommendation to a particular provider, facility or service.
When a parent calls Marin Child Care Council for childcare referrals, essential information is taken to ensure appropriate referrals are made. Any information received from a parent will be considered confidential. The information obtained includes but may not be limited to:
a. Callers name
b. Location of work and home
c. Number of children and their ages
d. Type of care parent is considering (e.g., in-home, center-based family child care, etc.)
e. Location preference
f. Days and hours care is needed
g. An assessment of preferences
Referral hours are Monday through Friday 9:00am to 3:00pm
What is Oliver’s Law?
Oliver’s Law (AB458), which took effect January 1, 2000, requires Resource and Referral Programs (like Marin Child Care Council) and Alternative Payment Programs to advise every person who requests a child care referral of his or her right to the licensing information on any licensed child care facility.
What does this law mean to parents looking for child care?
When a parent calls Marin Child Care Council for a referral, all referral counselors must advise them of their right to obtain licensing information, which includes reports pertaining to visits and substantiated complaint investigations of licensed child care facilities. Counselors must also strongly recommend that parents review a potential child care provider's licensing history before placing their child in a child care program.
What do you do when you call for licensing information?
Marin Child Care Council recommends that you narrow your selection of childcare providers before calling the licensing agency. You will need to know the provider’s full name for Family Child Care Homes, and business name for Child Care Centers, city, and county.
What if the program is not licensed?
Depending on child care needs, referrals may be made to licensed exempt child care centers, such as parent coops, recreation programs, and school based programs. Marin Child Care Council recommends that parents who are referred to exempt programs ask the program staff about their complaint policies.
Where can parents access the licensing history of a child care provider?
Parents may obtain a child care program's licensing history, which includes complete files on complaints and violations, from Community Care Licensing in San Bruno. For Child Care Centers and licensed Family Child Care Homes, call 650.266.8800, and ask for the duty worker of the day.
Marin Child Care Council provides referrals, not recommendations to child care programs because we feel that parents are the ones who can best choose the child care that meets their family’s needs.
What is Megan’s Law?
Since 2004, the public has been able to view information on sex offenders required to register with local law enforcement under California's Megan's Law. Previously, the information was available only by personally visiting police stations and sheriff offices or by calling a 900 toll-free number. The law was given final passage by the Legislature on August 24, 2004 and signed by the Governor on September 24, 2004. California has required sex offenders to register with their local law enforcement agencies since 1947.
California's Megan's Law provides the public with certain information on the whereabouts of sex offenders so that members of our local communities may protect themselves and their children. Megan's Law is named after seven-year-old Megan Kanka, a New Jersey girl who was raped and killed by a known registered sex offender who had moved across the street from the family without their knowledge. In the wake of the tragedy, the Kankas sought to have local communities warned about sex offenders in the area. All states now have a form of Megan's Law.
The law is not intended to punish the registrant and specifically prohibits using the information to harass or commit any crime against a registrant (Pen. Code § 290.46.).