What Are State Networks?

State Networks and their local Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) partners help families, child care providers, and communities find and offer affordable, quality child care. There are more than 600 CCR&Rs in the country. Thirty-eight states have State CCR&R Networks. Eight states have only one or two CCR&Rs for the entire state.

State Networks and their local CCR&Rs provide resources, document community needs and create solutions. As a result, the voices of children, families, and child care providers are brought to the public's attention.  

How State Networks Help

Ensure Quality, Accountable CCR&R Services 

  • Best practices and standards
  • Training and technical assistance
  •  Monitoring and evaluation

Document Child Care Needs, Trends and Impact 

  • Analysis of local CCR&R data
  • Supply, demand, cost and quality reports
  •  Market rate surveys, economic impact studies and needs assessment

Improve Access to Quality Child Care Options 

  • Statewide child care search websites and toll-free lines
  • Training, scholarships, and wage supplements for child care providers
  •  Quality improvment and supply building projects (infant/toddler, special needs)

Partner with Business, Education, Government and Policy Leaders to: 

  • Improve services/outcomes for children and families
  • Develop school readiness and early leaming guidelines
  • Put into effect child care quality rating systems
  • Provide work/family discussion and services
  • Support welfare reform/workforce development
  •  Analyze and improve child care policies

State Network Types

Each State Network is unique, but there are three general types: Coordinating, Managing, and Voluntary. Coordinating and Managing Networks are funded and have staff. They receive mainly public funds, such as Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) dollars distributed by State Child Care Administrators. Coordinating and Managing Networks also leverage funds from corporations, foundations, membership dues, fee-for-service contracts, and state grants. Voluntary Networks have no budget or rely on small membership fees and infrequent grants for projects. In addition to these types, a few states provide statewide CCR&R coverage through one or two offices that cover the entire state. These are described below as Single Statewide Entities.  

Coordinating Networks

  • Develop local CCR&R best practices and standards
  • Provide training and support for partner CCR&R staff
  • Offer statewide child care consumer education and referrals for families
  • Collect, analyze, and report data from local CCR&Rs and other sources
  • Build child care supply and quality
  •  Manage special project grants

Managing Networks

Offer the same services as Coordinating Networks, and:

  • Manage and distribute CCR&R funding for State Child Care Administrators
  • Determine the range of services local CCR&Rs should provide
  • Develop and carry out contracts
  •  Track CCR&Rs' performance through evaluation and quality assurance activities

Single Statewide Entities

  • Usually serve states with small geographic ares or populations
  • Provide CCR&R services to entire state through one or two agencies
  • May have multiple satellite offices located across the state
  •  Function somewhat like Managing State Network for satellite offices and for data collection and reporting purposes

Voluntary State Networks

  • Generally receive no state funding to support their work
  • Depend on local CCR&R directors and staff to volunteer time to coordinate and lead the state's CCR&R system
  • Are unable to provide the same level of service as funded State Networks