Frequently Asked Questions
What type of services does 4Cs offer?
4Cs offers many services relating to child care. We help parents locate child care, we pay for child care for eligible families through our Voucher programs and we provide direct child care services for eligible families at our child development centers. We also offer many support services for the child care providers in Sonoma County through trainings, technical assistance and our Child Care Food Program.
Are there fees for your services?
4Cs provides many free services, including referrals to licensed child care providers, help with becoming a licensed child care provider, and reimbursements to enrolled child care providers for serving nutritious meals. Parents enrolled in our child care programs and centers receive free or low-cost child care. We also offer free or low-cost workshops, meetings and events for child care providers and parents.
How do I apply for your services?
» If you are seeking referrals for child care, please call 544-3077 and ask for help finding child care. A referral counselor will help you.
» If you are a family child care provider and would like to participate in the program that reimburses providers for the food you serve children in your care, please call the Child Health Nutrition program at 544-3077 and ask for the food program.
» If you believe you are income eligible and would like to be listed on the Sonoma County Centralized Eligibility List for subsidized child care, call 544-3077 and ask to be put on the list.
If you have any other questions please call 544-3077.
How does the Centralized Eligibility List (CEL) work?
CEL is a list of Sonoma County families waiting for help paying for child care or preschool. Families can choose from a variety of programs and preschools that offer subsidized care. Families waiting on the CEL are ranked by state-Issued criteria. When the subsidized programs have openings, they contact the lowest Income families waiting on the CEL.
Although we'd like to serve every family, child care funding in our State is very limited. Our State funders require us to keep an eligibility list of families waiting for care based on priorities for service, not length of time waiting. Some programs enroll children who have a referral from Child Protective Services before those with low incomes. Other programs serve the lowest income family first. None of the programs is first-come, first-served. When an opening occurs in a specific program or center, the family who is still eligible and has the highest priority is enrolled first.
How long do I have to wait to receive free or low fee child care?
Because the CEL is not a first-come, first-served waiting list, we cannot estimate how long you will wait to be served. A family with a very low income or a referral from Child Protective Services usually has a higher priority for service. In addition, a low income family looking for a preschool program for a 3-5 year old in Sonoma, Healdsburg and Sebastopol might have a shorter waiting time than a comparable family in Santa Rosa or Petaluma. Parents referred to us by CalWORKS or Workforce Investment Act programs usually have no waiting period at all.
Do you license child care providers?
4Cs does not license child care providers. However, we do offer trainings that assist participants in all of the requirements to become licensed. Child care providers are licensed through Community Care Licensing (CCL)a division of the Department of Social Services. If you have questions, a complaint, or would like to view a licensed providers file you may call CCL at (707) 588-5026.
Can you recommend a good child care provider for me?
4Cs does not make recommendations. We encourage parental choice by educating parents/guardians about the variety of child care options they have. These include but are not limited to, licensed family child care homes, licensed child care centers, centers that are exempt from licensing, in home care, and co-ops. We can not guarantee the quality of the providers in our files, and we strongly encourage parents to visit facilities, interview the provider, and check references before making the decision to leave a child in care.
How do I join the food program?
Once you are a licensed provider, you can claim on the Food Program. Call us at 544-3077, and ask for the food program to make an appointment. We will enroll you with a visit at your convenience.
How do I report child abuse?
To report child abuse call Child Protective Services (CPS) at their 24-hour reporting line (707) 565-4304. If you are a licensed child care provider you are a mandated reporter and required by law to report any suspicions of child abuse that you observe.