SNCS provides child care resource and referral services to all families throughout Sierra and Nevada counties. We believe that choosing child care starts with asking the right questions, so as part of our Child Care Resource & Referral process, we offer technical assistance for parents. This assistance includes child care referrals, child development information, education on quality child care, parenting classes, and support groups.
Selecting a qualified child care provider is an important step in your child’s life. Enriching and nurturing child care sets the stage for healthy growth and development.
If you are interested in learning about the child care assistance we offer, please have a look at The Programs We Offer.
We are here to support you throughout the child care planning process. We provide free consultation on local early education and child care programs. We also give free child care referrals by matching you and your child’s unique needs with a list of child care providers in Nevada and Sierra Counties.
Early Child Care Philosophies
Choosing quality child care
Finding Child Care for a Child with Special Need
Is this the right place for my child checklist
Childcare Advocate Program (CCAP)
Laws and Regulations
Megan’s Law - Requiring public registration for sex offenders
National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care
If you are interested in viewing SNCS’ Referral Policy and Complaint Policy regarding Licensing Violations, please click here.
Is it time to return to work after your maternity leave? Are you the parent of a young child who is thinking about returning to school? Have you started thinking about care for your child when you do return to work or school? Do you want to know what options you have?
When parents begin the search for child care, they are often confused and unsure of what options are available to them. Listed below are several different options, including both licensed and license-exempt care. Each of these types of care has distinct features, differences, and licensing requirements, along with conditions on size and adult-to-child ratios. Knowing what these features and differences are can assist you in choosing the option that best fits your needs, as well as your child’s.
Licensed child care can occur in either a Family Child Care Home or in a Child Care Center.
State preschool programs are part-day comprehensive developmental programs for 3 to 5 year old children from low-income families. The programs emphasize parent education and encourage parent involvement.
The Budget Act of 1997 allowed state preschool program contractors the opportunity to extend their half-day programs to full-day programs with certain restrictions. Some current state preschool providers chose this wrap-around of their existing half-day programs to provide families with the extended services parents needed to maintain employment, meet work participation requirements, or participate in education or job training. Agencies providing full-day services continue to operate in a half-day mode as a state preschool program, but must follow general child care rules and regulations for the remainder of the program day.
Head Start is a US Department of Health and Human Services program designed to support low-income families through child care centers and schools in their local community, by providing services for the comprehensive development and promotion of school readiness to young children ages 3 to 5 years old. Head Start services include early learning, health, nutrition, and family well-being.
Early Head Start programs support low income families with pregnant women, infants, and children up to age 3 years old, by providing comprehensive services and high-quality early learning environments in child care centers and schools.
Early Head Start Child Care Partnership programs support low income families with infants and toddlers by providing comprehensive services and high-quality early learning environments in family child care homes and child care centers. EHS_CCP Brochure
There are also various types of License Exempt Care. License Exempt Care:
For more information on the definition of license exempt care, click on this Child Care Law Center link.
The philosophy behind the Child Care Resource and Referral program is that parents are the best people to choose the child care that meets their family’s needs. Referrals are provided based on the parent’s criteria, as well as on child and family needs. We only refer child care providers that are currently licensed.
Request an email referral from our trained Resource and Referral Professionals, fill out the Child Care Referral Form below and email to address on form.
When funds become available to enroll new families, SNCS prints a current CEL listing ordered by rank and contacts families by mail for possible enrollment. Once we confirm eligibility the family will need to attend an orientation when enrolling, and annually upon recertification.
Fill out the CEL application and email to address on form, mail or walk in to SNCS, 420 Sierra College Drive Suite 100, Grass Valley, CA 95945.
CEL Application – Nevada and Sierra County
CEL Application – Nevada and Sierra County Spanish Version
|CalWORKS Stage 1||Child Care Referral must be received from CalWORKS||California Department of Social Services (CDSS)|
|CalWORKS Stages 2 & 3||Child Care Referral must be received from CalWORKS||California Department of Education (CDE), Early Education & Support Division (EESD)|
|Alternative Payment Program (CAPP)||Families may choose from child care options such as Family Child Care Homes and Child Care Centers, TrustLine child care providers, or Relative Care child care providers or other license-exempt providers|
|Family Child Care Home (FCCHEN) “Network”||Families must select a participating Network provider. Support, training, and education are available to both parents and providers in the program|
Once we confirm eligibility the family will need to attend a group orientation when enrolling, and annually upon recertification. Families in Truckee and Loyalton can schedule an individual orientation by contacting their Family Supor Specialist
The Parent Guide contains valuable information about types of available child care programs that Sierra Nevada Children's Services (SNCS) has to offer in Nevada and Sierra counties. Reading the guide will help families learn about their child care options and funding sources as well as understand the eligibility and enrollment requirements.Parent Guide – English
Are the providers on your database all licensed?
Are all licensed programs the same?
What is child care accreditation?
How do I find out the licensing history of a program?
Will child care make your child more likely to get sick?
How many children can a provider care for at one time?
Who accepts subsidy payments?
Whom can I contact about child care if I move to another county?
What can I do if I don’t agree with a decision made by SNCS?
How do I file a child care provider complaint?
When you call us for referrals, we will provide the most current and up-to-date information on licensed child care providers in our community. The majority of child care centers and all family child care homes are licensed by the California Department of Social Services (DSS) Community Care Licensing division. License-Exempt programs are exempt from licensing regulations. Some examples of License-Exempt programs include:
The Child Care Licensing Program of California’s Community Care Licensing Division licenses and monitors both Child Care Centers and Family Child Care Homes in an effort to ensure that programs offer a safe and healthy environment for children. All licensed programs are required to meet specific criteria and adhere to various regulations. These criteria and regulations pertain to the facility and the provider, not the educational program. Specific programs vary on their philosophy of early childhood education, style of curriculum, types and amount of educational materials, and structure of the learning environment.
There are also specific and different licensing requirements for child care center programs and family child care homes. The differences range from educational requirements to staffing ratios related to the available physical space per child.
Because the child care needs of each family vary, it is important to speak with and visit several programs before making a decision.
Accredited programs undergo a rigorous process measuring the program against national standards on childhood education, health and safety. For most programs, it is a voluntary process. The Accreditation Status is the level of quality whereby the service provider demonstrates the capacity, commitment and competence to support high-quality learning and ongoing program improvement.
For more information about accreditation associations and their website addresses go to CDE Accreditation
If you know the exact name of your Licensed Provider, you can look them up on the California Community Care Licensing website and view their citations, inspections and complaints. If you are not sure of the exact name on the license call SNCS at 530 272-8866. The law requires that all licensees post and provide copies of any information about the facility’s compliance with licensing regulations to all parents of children in care.
Infectious diseases among children in out-of-home child care settings have drawn considerable attention from researchers and the media.
Research has shown that:
The good news:
Source: Aronson S, Shope T. Improving the Health and Safety of Children in Nonparental Early Education and Child Care. Pediatrics in Review. 2005;26:86-95 Retrieved from the American Academy of Pediatrics on 01/15/09.
All licensed Family Child Care Home providers and Center-Based programs are regulated by California state licensing laws. Specific adult-to-child ratios and capacity limits depend on the type of program. Small family child care homes can care for no more than 8 children and large family child care homes can care for no more than 14 children at any one time. Small family child care homes require only the owner/provider be present while large family child care homes require the addition of an assistant. Center-based program capacity limits and adult-child ratios vary by age group and program type. For more information on center capacities and ratios, visit California’s Community Care Licensing website.
Most child care providers are accustomed to and accept reimbursement from the state. Please call the SNCS office if you are looking for child care provider referrals or would like to know if your current provider accepts subsidized child care reimbursements.
Child Care Resource & Referral (R&R) agencies are located throughout the State of California, as well as the country. For R&R that serves your county in California go to Resource & Referral County Listing, click on your county to get the contact information.
Sierra Nevada Children’s Services (SNCS) must comply with State and Federal laws and regulations when administering its programs. A complaint is an accusation that in some fashion SNCS has not acted in compliance with State and/or Federal laws and regulations.
The Child Care Advocate is available to assist with problem resolution. You may contact the Child Care Advocate Program directly: Phone number: (916) 654-1541
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
To file a formal complaint with Community Care Licensing (CCL). Parents may telephone (916) 263-5744 and request the consultant for Eastern or Western Nevada County, or call (530) 895-5033 and request the consultant for Sierra County.