Office of Child Care
Thriving Children, Strong Families and Vibrant Communities
The Office of Child Care envisions a high quality early care and education system accessible to all families that nurtures children’s healthy growth and early learning, fosters protective factors* in families, and strengthens communities.
What We Do
The Office of Child Care shapes policy recommendations, facilitates planning, and provides a range of services aimed at improving the availability, quality and access to early care and education programs. The Office supports efforts to promote informed parents’ choice of early care and education services and the meaningful engagement of parents in those services. And finally, the Office works across disciplines to promote access to concrete supports that families need.
How We Conduct Our Work
- Direct management of its three programs –
Investing in Early Educators – Stipend Program – Designed to increase the retention and academic preparedness of teachers working in child development programs – centers and family child care homes – in which most of the children are subsidized by the California Department of Education/Child Development Division. Stipends are made available to teachers completing college coursework that informs their work with children and families, and/or contributes toward a degree in child development or a closely related field.
Steps to Excellence Program (STEP) – Los Angeles County’s first quality rating and improvement system for licensed early care and education programs – centers and family child care homes – serving children ages 0 to 5. STEP’s purpose is to: provide parents with clear, concise information on the quality of individual early care and education settings; create incentives and supports for programs to meet and maintain higher program standards; distinguish programs that are meeting these higher standards; and provide benchmarks to determine if the quality of care in individual programs or communities is improving over time.
Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) – A federally funded pilot program that will improve the quality of licensed early care and education programs – centers and family child care homes. RTT-ELC’s goal is to close the achievement gap for young children ages birth to five who are “high needs” (e.g. low-income, English learners, have special needs or are under the supervision of child protective services).
- The following County bodies –
Child Care Planning Committee – The mission of the Child Care Planning Committee is to engage parents, child care providers, allied organizations, and community and public agencies in collaborative planning efforts to improve the overall child care infrastructure of the County of Los Angeles, including the quality and continuity, affordability, and accessibility of child care and development services for all families.
Policy Roundtable for Child Care and Development – The Los Angeles County Policy Roundtable for Child Care and Development builds and strengthens early care and education by providing recommendations to the Board of Supervisors on policy, systems and infrastructure improvement.
- By providing staff support to a County-wide initiative –
Strengthening Families Learning Community – The Chief Executive Office (CEO) is facilitating County department efforts to work internally, across departments, and with community partners to integrate the Strengthening Families and Protective Factors* framework into their work with children, families and communities.
Publications and Reports –The Office of Child Care, on behalf of the Policy Roundtable for Child Care and Development and the Child Care Planning Committee, oversees research and the development of reports and publications that tackle issues relating to enhancing the quality of early care and education programs.
Helpful Links and Resources – The Office of Child Care has compiled a list of web-based resources relating to the field of early care and education, including licensing and regulatory compliance, resource and referral, assessing and enhancing quality, professional development, data and research, financing and technical assistance, connecting families to resources, promoting male involvement in early care and education, and more.
Office of Child Care
Within the Service Integration Branch of the Chief Executive Office
County of Los Angeles
222 South Hill Street, 5th Floor
Los Angeles, California 90012
Telephone: (213) 974-4103
Facsimile: (213) 217 5106
*The five protective factors are:
- Parental resilience
- Knowledge of parenting and child development
- Social connections
- Concrete supports in times of need
- Social and emotional competence of children
**The Strengthening Families Approach and Protective Factors were developed by the Center for the Study of Social Policy.