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Child Care Glossary

Alternative Payment Program (APP)
Child care subsidies for low-income families, administered through the California Department of Education (CDE).

CalWORKs California’s welfare-to-work program, which requires parents receiving welfare to get training and find jobs. Provides child care subsidies, which can be used for licensed or license-exempt care, to enable parents to work.

Centralized Eligibility List (CEL) A single, county-wide list of all children in income-eligible families who are waiting for a space in a subsidized child care and development program. Agencies offering subsidized care contact families in need, from the CEL, to notify them of enrollment openings. CEL data from each county is compiled into an annual statewide report.

Child care center Provides care for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and/or school-age children all or part of the day. These facilities may be large or small and can be operated independently by nonprofit organizations or for- profit companies, or by churches, school districts, and other organizations. Most are licensed by the California Department of Social Services (DSS), Community Care Licensing (CCL).

Child Care Initiative Project (CCIP) Supported with state and federal funds, CCIP recruits and trains family child care providers to address the demand for child care services. Administered by the statewide California Child Care Resource & Referral Network, CCIP works through local R&R programs.

Child care professional Defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as “someone who attends to children at child care centers, schools, businesses, and institutions, and performs a variety of tasks such as dressing, feeding, bathing, and overseeing play.” An emphasis on professional development and knowledge of early childhood development as well as safety issues has positioned the work as a profession rather than a service occupation.

Child care provider A person who provides care for children in any one of a variety of settings, including child care centers and family child care homes.

Family child care home Care offered in the home of the provider, often a parent. Small family child care homes have one provider and can accept up to eight children, depending on their ages. Large family child care homes have two adults and can take up to 14 children, depending on their ages. Care is often provided for children of different ages. The homes are licensed by DSS/CCL.

First 5 California A comprehensive, integrated system of early childhood development services for all children prenatal to five years of age, created by Proposition 10 (a voter-approved initiative passed in 1998).

First 5 Commission Advisory bodies located in each county in California, disbursing local Prop 10 funds for programs that improve the health, early care, and education of children from prenatal to five.

Full-time care Thirty or more hours per week.

Subsidy Financial assistance from state or federal funds available to low-income families who meet the state’s income eligibility requirements. (Subsidized care is available in licensed care centers, family child care homes, and by license-exempt providers.)

Universal Preschool A voluntary preschool program for four-year-olds to encourage early learning and to promote school readiness through activities that develop educational, cognitive, socio-emotional, and physical skills.

Head Start/Early Head Start
A federally-funded program for low-income families with children birth to five years old and pregnant women. In addition to child care and early learning programs, health care and parent training are also offered. Head Start programs are licensed by DSS. Some are full day and some coordinate with other providers or funding sources to provide full-day care.

Healthy Families Low-cost health insurance for children in families that do not qualify for MediCal.

Infant/toddler care Care for children under two, as defined by Community Care Licensing.

In-home care A friend, relative, babysitter, or nanny cares for a child in the child’s home, full-time or part-time.

Licensed child care Center- or home-based care that meets health, safety, and educational standards set by Department of Social Services/Community Care Licensing.

License-exempt care Child care which does not require a state license. License-exempt care includes home care (providers caring for children from only one other family besides their own), in-home care (a friend, relative, babysitter, or nanny cares for a child in the child’s home, full-time or part-time), and some school-age centers or military programs regulated by non-state agencies.

Median Household Income The midpoint of household incomes in an area, above which, half of the households in that area have higher incomes and, below which, half of the households have lower incomes. (California families eligible for child care subsidy fall at or below 75% of the state median income level.)

Non-traditional hours Work hours other than 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., including evening, overnight, or weekend shifts.

Paid Family Leave (PFL) A California law that provides workers covered by State Disability Insurance with up to 6 weeks of partial pay, each year, to take time off from work to bond with a newborn baby or newly adopted foster child (or to care for a seriously ill parent, child, spouse, or registered domestic partner). In 2007, PFL paid 55% of wages, up to a maximum of $882 per week.

Part-time care Less than 30 hours per week.

Preschooler Children aged two to five, as defined by Community Care Licensing

Program for Infant/Toddler Care (PITC) A training curriculum to increase the availability and quality of child care for children under three.

Resource and referral program (R&R) Community-based organization, agency, or program that provides information, training, and support for parents, caregivers, employers, and policy makers. Since 1976, individual R&Rs have been funded by the California Department of Education, Child Development Division. Resource and referral programs are located in every county in California.

School-age care Care for elementary and middle school students which may be provided in homes or center-based settings, sometimes on school grounds, and offered before school begins and/or after school to the end of the work day.

Slot Space for one child in a child care center or family child care home.