Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find child care in my area?
Why would I use your child care referral service, if it is easier to find child care providers on craigslist?
How current are your child care referral lists?
Does every child care provider on your referral list accept subsidy payments?
What can I do if I am having trouble finding child care providers through your website search?
I submitted my application to the Centralized Eligibility List. I have not heard back. How long is the wait?"
Are there other subsidy programs in the county?
What do you do to help create more high quality child care programs in Sacramento County?
How can I start a family child care home business?
What can I do if a provider is mistreating the children in their care?
I would like to file a complaint against my child care provider. Who do I call?
Do I have to be a "low income" family to get help finding child care?
Can my neighbor get paid for providing child care to my children?
Is your subsidy program only available to parents on welfare (that is, parents who receive cash aid)?
Who determines the income ceilings?
Why is my parent fee high?
Does Child Action, Inc. use gross or net amount in determining income eligibility?

How do I find child care in my area?

You can use our Resource & Referral services to search for licensed child care. There are two ways to access our referral list:  By calling us at 916-369-0191 or on-line at Finding Child Care/Referrals .

Why would I use your child care referral service, if it is easier to find child care providers on craigslist?

We listen to your needs for child care. Child Action, Inc. can match referrals that are close to your home, work or school. We offer assistance with interviewing providers and talk with you about what quality child care programs might look like. We can also connect you with Community Care Licensing to check a provider’s background/history.

Most importantly, Child Action, Inc. is the only child care referral agency in Sacramento County that has a Communication Agreement with the state agency that oversees licensed child care programs. Community Care Licensing notifies Child Action, Inc. when a child care program has a negative action against their license for violations, including serious violations where there is an immediate risk to the health and safety or personal rights of children in care.

Talk to someone who cares as much as you do. Give us a call at (916) 369-0191.

How current are your child care referral lists?

Providers are updated at least every 3 months, more often if providers report changes. However, these updates are snapshots of a child care program, meant to give you an idea of what the child care program offers. As you make your search you should always contact the child care provider to discuss your family’s specific needs. And if you need help give us a call.

Does every child care provider on your referral list accept subsidy payments?

Not every child care provider chooses to accept child care subsidy payments. If you need a list of child care providers who accept subsidy, we have Child Care Specialists available to help with this, and any other specific needs.

What can I do if I am having trouble finding child care providers through your website search?

You can call the Child Action, Inc. office at (916) 369-0191 during business hours to request a child care referral list and discuss your family’s needs. We are also available through email anytime at info@childaction.org. You can also come to our office during business hours and we will personally assist you with finding a list of providers.

I submitted my application to the Centralized Eligibility List.  I have not heard back. How long is the wait?

There are factors that affect your wait time for the program. The factors are based on available funding for slots and your rank on the wait list. Your rank is based on your family’s gross income adjusted for family size. The higher your rank, the longer the wait. We encourage you to update your application as your situation changes.  Being on the wait list does not guarantee a slot on the program.

Are there other subsidy programs in the county?

Yes, there are various subsidy programs throughout Sacramento County. Child Action, Inc. maintains a Childcare Eligibility List (CEL) that is used by programs such as Beanstalk, B.J. Jordan C.C. Programs, Inc., Kinder World Inc., CDI-CDC, and The 4th R. All participating subsidy programs have access to the same information on the CEL and any one of them may call you for enrollment as space becomes available. You may place your name on the CEL by clicking on this link CEL Application or by calling us at 916-369-0191. There are other programs in Sacramento not participating in the CEL. You can receive a list of these programs by clicking on this link:  Non-Participating CEL Programs in Sacramento.

What do you do to help create more high quality child care programs in Sacramento County?

Child Action, Inc. is dedicated to supporting high quality child care for children and families.  We work with child care providers who voluntarily choose to develop quality caregiving practices.  We offer a variety of services, including environment assessments, ongoing one-on-one assistance, professional development training, and facility development services for family child care and center programs. For more information, on what we offer visit the “Program & Services” section of our website or contact us (916) 369-0191.  Having safe, nurturing places for children in care is important to all of us.

How can I start a family child care home business?

Our Resource and Referral Department staff can offer assistance in this endeavor.  Click on this link for more information: Opening a Family Day Care Home/CCIP

What can I do if a child care provider is mistreating the children in their care?

You can make a report directly to Community Care Licensing by calling the complaint hotline at 1-844 LET US NO or 1-844-538-8766. If you want to discuss the situation give us a call, we can make a report directly to Community Care Licensing on your behalf. Child Action, Inc. maintains a strong partnership with Community Care Licensing to assist child care programs in providing safe and healthy environments for children and their families.

I would like to file a complaint against my child care provider.  Who do I call?

If you feel your child’s safety and well-being is at risk, please contact your local police department immediately. You may also contact Sacramento County Child Protective Services at 916-875-5437. In case of an emergency call 911 for law enforcement.  To file a formal complaint against a licensed child care provider, please call the Community Care Licensing Division Complaint Hotline at 1-844-538-8766.

Do I have to be a "low income" family to get help finding child care?

Child Action, Inc. offers free referrals to anyone seeking child care in Sacramento County, regardless of income. There is no income eligibility to use our child care referral service.

Can my neighbor get paid for providing child care to my children?

Yes, non-licensed providers such as relatives, friends and neighbors may be eligible to receive payment as a child care provider.  All non-licensed providers enrolling on the program must:

  • be at least 18 years of age
  • possess a valid California ID or Driver’s license
  • have a Social Security Number
  • have a current negative TB test reading
  • attend an enrollment appointment and submit all required forms

Non-licensed providers who are not the grandparent or aunt/uncle to the child must apply to and clear a background check known as Trustline.

Is your subsidy program only available to parents on welfare (that is, parents who receive cash aid)?

No. Our subsidy program is also available to parents who are not on aid but are enrolled at or below 70% of the state median income (SMI). Enrollment for these programs is based on factors such as available funding and rank on the wait list.

I am receiving cash aid. How do I get child care?

If you receive cash aid, please contact your county aid worker. In Sacramento County, the Sacramento County Department of Human Assistance administers the child care payments for Stage 1 eligible clients.

Who determines the income ceilings?

The income ceilings, established by the California Department of Education (CDE), are a percentage of the state median income adjusted for family size.  Currently, families are eligible for a child care subsidy if their household income at initial certification is at or below 70% of the state median income (SMI). Families remain eligible on-going (recertification) up to 85% of the state median income. The most current income ceiling used is based on the 2016 SMI.

Why is my parent fee high?

A parent fee is a share of child care costs that an enrolled parent pays directly to Child Action, Inc. The fee amount is established by the California Department of Education and is determined by a family’s gross monthly income and family size.

Does Child Action, Inc. use gross or net amount in determining income eligibility?

State regulation requires the use of gross income to determine income eligibility for child care subsidy programs.