Press Releases

Helping Parents Find Affordable, Quality Child Care is Critical to the Economy

September 11, 2012

Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies Assist Families Throughout the Country

Arlington, VA-- More than 600 Child Care Resource and Referral agencies (CCR&Rs) assist parents in finding child care throughout the country every day, according to a report released today by Child Care Aware® of America. Parent Services Spearheaded by Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies, provides results from a survey of CCR&R State Networks and local agencies about services they provide to parents.

CCR&Rs provide more than 1 million child care referrals annually. The report provides an overview of the diverse array of parent services provided in every state.

“Parents, as consumers of child care, have a tough job,” said Ollie M. Smith, Child Care Aware® of America’s Interim Executive Director. “State child care laws are often difficult for parents to decipher. Quality care is often difficult to find and unaffordable.”

Access to affordable child care is essential for a strong economy. Safe, affordable, quality child care allows parents to obtain and retain a job. It also helps children learn the social, emotional, intellectual and physical skills needed to develop in a healthy manner and ultimately to start school ready to succeed.

The report found that 89 percent of CCR&Rs offer referral services, either through a phone referral, an online search, or both. Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of CCR&Rs offer “enhanced referrals,” a higher level service for parents that includes vacancy checks to help narrow choices to those programs with current openings.

Most CCR&Rs offer consumer education services to help parents make informed choices about child care. CCR&R staff advise on what to look for in a child care setting, what questions to ask providers, what to expect about the cost of care, how to help children adjust to new settings, and why it is important to choose quality child care. About 40 percent of CCR&Rs administer subsidies to eligible families through contracts with states.

“Particularly for new parents, finding child care can be overwhelming,” said Smith. “CCR&Rs look to educate parents and partner with them on their search for child care. CCR&Rs take the guesswork out of finding quality child care.”

Download a copy of Parent Services Spearheaded by Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies.

Child Care Aware® of America (formerly NACCRRA), is our nation’s leading voice for child care. We work with more than 600 state and local Child Care Resource and Referral agencies to ensure that families in every local community have access to quality, affordable child care. To achieve our mission, we lead projects that increase the quality and availability of child care, offer comprehensive training to child care professionals, undertake groundbreaking research and advocate for child care policies that positively impact the lives of children and families. To learn more about Child Care Aware® of America and how you can join us in ensuring access to quality child care for all families, visit