Child Care Delivery System



For additional information on choosing child care, please click here: Choosing Child Care


If you have additional questions about qualifying for care, contact our local Resource & Referral office at Child Development Resources.


To locate available child care providers near you, visit My Child Care Plan.


To learn more about transitional kindergarten (TK) and Universal PreKindergarten (UPK), visit the Ventura County Office of Education.


Center-Based & Family Child Care

When choosing child care, parents have a choice; they can choose center-based or family child care. Child care center must be licensed through the California Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing Division and may obtain any of three licenses for infant care, preschool care or school-age care. Center-based programs are traditionally located in classroom facilities; number of children per classroom is determined by the size of the room. Similar to the center-based care, family child care is licensed through the State of California. A family child care home must be in the licensee's own home. A family child care home reflects a home-like environment. There are small family child care homes (provide care to no more than 8 children) and large family child care homes (provide care to no more than 14 children). Center-based and family child care homes can be licensed-exempt as long as they abided by specific regulations.


Non-Subsidized & Subsidized Child Care

Non-Subsidized spaces are utilized by private pay families in child care centers and family child care homes. These programs are operated by community based organizations, churches, individuals, non-profits and for-profits. When families are having trouble affording child care there are programs that provide local, state or federal financial aid. Family eligibility is based on a variety of needs determined by state by state and federal regulations and local priorities. Eligible families are low income and except for Head Start, also working, seeking employment, enrolled in education or job training programs, homeless or medically incapacitated. Child Protective Services may also refer children.


Expanded Learning (Before and After School Care)

Many school districts offer before and after school services on or near their campuses. Some of these services are funded by parent pay or state/federal subsidies (based on income qualification). School districts also offer expanded learning through the Expanded Learning Opportunities Program (ELO-P), After School Education and Safety (ASES), and 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC).


To learn more about your school district's care options, contact your district of residence. More information on expanded learning programs can be found at through Region 8 Expanded Learning.


Alternative Payment Program (APP or AP Programs)

Funded by the State of California, these programs subsidize the child care costs for eligible families. Parents may choose from family child care home, child care center, or license-exempt care providers. Children are eligible for child care services until their 13th birthday.


Head Start

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services funds Head Start. Child Development Resources of Ventura County, Inc. is the Head Start grantee for Ventura County. Head Start eligibility is among the most stringent in Ventura County as it is based on the federal poverty level, which is $22,050 per year for a family of four.


State-Funded Preschools

The California Department of Education funds state-funded preschools and program direct services. The program provides a core class curriculum that is developmentally, culturally, and linguistically appropriate for the children served. It also provides meals and snacks to children, parent education, referrals to health and social services for families, and staff development opportunities to employees. The program is administered through local educational agencies, colleges, community-action agencies, and private nonprofit agencies.


CalWORKs Child Care Program

The CalWORKs Child Care Program is a welfare-to-work program for families with children. Funded by Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) federal funds, the purpose of this program is to help a family transition smoothly from the immediate, short-term child care needed as the parent starts work or work activities to the stable, long-term child care necessary for the family to leave and remain off aid There are three (3) stages of CalWORKS. Stages one and two provide funded child cares spaces for up to 24 months while families are in transition from welfare to work. Stage three begins when a funded space is available and when the client has acquired the 24 months of child care, after transitioning off of aid (for former CalWORKs recipients).