The County of Santa Clara


Under advisement from August 29, 2017 (Item No. 18): Receive report from the Social Services Agency relating to Child Care Resource and Referral Services. (Social Services Agency)


Department:Social Services AgencySponsors:


  1. Printout
  2. CDE_Resource & Referral Agencies



There is no fiscal impact associated with receipt of this report.


The Board of Supervisors (Board) directed the Social Services Agency (SSA) to report to the Board (8/29/2017 Board Meeting, Agenda Item #18, ID# 87558) regarding the County’s ability to become a Child Care Resource and Referral (R&R) provider through the California Department of Education’s (CDE) process.

California Department of Education Request for Application: CDE staff recently described the R&R provider-selection process to SSA as follows:   Requests for Applications (RFA) for CDE-contracted services are issued when new funding becomes available.  If a current contractor relinquishes its contract, or CDE terminates a currently funded organization, CDE would issue an RFA to its existing contractor pool to select a replacement, in order to “transfer the program to another agency as soon as practicable.”  (See 5 CCR section 18024(d).)  Contractors in that pool have other CDE-funded child development programs. CDE staff advised SSA that CDE would exhaust this process before CDE would consider initiating an RFA to recruit a new contractor.

The current CDE list of R&R contractors by county (see attachment) is composed of nonprofit organizations, County Offices of Education, and County Superintendents of Schools.  No counties are on CDE’s list of R&R contractors.

County as a Child Care R&R Provider: The County could lawfully become a R&R provider if CDE selected the County as a result of a CDE Request for Applications Process, but CDE staff has advised SSA that this would not occur until after CDE’s contract with the currently funded organization ends, and after CDE has then sought applications from other current CDE contractors to determine if a replacement contractor could be identified from CDE’s existing contractors.  Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations, beginning at Section 18000, describes the process through which CDE contracts with providers to provide R&R services.  Section 18240 through 18249 describe the service requirements applicable to R&R service providers. According to information posted on CDE’s website, eligible applicants for funding consist of “Institutions of higher education, local educational agencies, nonprofit organizations, other organizations or agencies. 

As a participant in any process to secure an R&R designation, the County would need to demonstrate the ability to effectively provide child care R&R services to the public and, if selected, would need to ensure the appropriate infrastructure to do so (e.g., child care provider database, access to child care provider licensing information, software required to match child care requests with appropriate and available providers, etc.).  The County would also need to build the necessary pool of experienced and knowledgeable staff capable of assisting families with child care decisions. 

California Department of Education Audit Status of Current Resource & Referral Agency: In response to a recent inquiry with CDE staff, SSA was informed that CDE is in the process of conducting a fiscal audit of the local R&R contractor.  No definite completion date is available at this time.


The recommended action will have no/neutral impact on children.


The recommended action will have no/neutral impact on seniors.


The recommended action will have no/neutral sustainability implications.


The Board of Supervisors would not receive the report it requested.


The Clerk of the Board shall follow the usual process for this type of legislative file.

Meeting History

Sep 12, 2017 9:30 AM Video Board of Supervisors Regular Meeting

At the request of President Cortese, the Board directed Administration to notify the California Department of Education that the County is formally willing and committed to becoming eligible as a Child Care Resource and Referral provider; develop an implementation plan that would prepare the County to take over as a Child Care Resource and Referral provider; report to the Board on date uncertain with the implementation plan and any requests for additional resources needed; and, develop a second plan to initiate a pilot child care program that is run by the County, and, can provide a model for high quality care for otherwise underserved families.

MOVER:Dave Cortese, President
SECONDER:Cindy Chavez, Supervisor
AYES:Mike Wasserman, Cindy Chavez, Dave Cortese, Ken Yeager
ABSTAIN:S. Joseph Simitian


Sep 12, 2017 9:30 AMBoard of SupervisorsRegular Meeting


2:38 PMSo we'll hear those two items next time around. Scott, I know you had requested to speak on the item if you're here, we're just not going to take it up today so if you're here, if you are here we'll take up your comments next meeting. Item, uh, 21 was, um, continued to a date uncertain by the administration. Item 22 is a child care resource and referral services report. I know the paper report on this is pretty straight forward although I do have some suggestions to make once we hear from county administration.
2:39 PMGood afternoon. director of social services agency and with me is denise, the director of employment services. You have your report before you, and we're here just happy to answer any questions you might have. Supv cortese: okay, thank you. Um,. Supv cortese: I share that concern and I wanted to, um, recommend and i'm happy to make the motion that we move the item with the following, uh, direction or additional direction and that is one to notify, um, the cde that the county is formally committed, willing and committed to u women the role of the rra should that be, um, possible two, to develop an implementation plan that would compel the county to take over that role. That's directed at the county executive. Three, report back to board of supervisors with that plan in a request for any additional resources needed. So clearly i'm suggesting the final action on that taken without the whole thing being brought back to the board of supervisors. And additional and frankly, probably most important, last but not least, ask the administration to develop a separate plan, or a second plan, initiate a pilot childcare program that's run by the county and provide a model for care. I think as we move forward our mission as a county has become more clear that we're going to be need to be prepared to enter into child care work beyond what's asked of us in the past. Again they're on a larger scale would be funding and other issues that revolve around that. But it would seem that a pilot, um, is well within our reach. If the economy hold said up the way it is and would give us an opportunity to look at what our capacity is and what would be needed to go beyond that in the future. I'd like to make that those four points part of a motion to move this item forward and i'm going to formally do that here on the screen. Seconded by supervisor chavez. Any questions or comments about what i'm suggesting at this point, it's essentially a referral attached to the item. Vice president samitian. Supv simitian: I hear that it's a referral on the other hand I thought I heard in the first part of the emotion - - motion there was essentially a step up and an offer to assume specific responsibilities.
2:42 PMNotify the cd that the county is formally committed to assume the role of the rra. That means we are committed, willing and committed to become a referral agency. But we also ask that that plan be brought back to the board of supervisors for final approval. Supv simitian: i'm going to abstain today because I think we've got a little bit of a chicken and egg problem which means i'd have to have answers to some of these questions.
2:43 PMI guess i'm a little confused as to these two items, how are these two items linked? Because they could be totally separate. Supv cortese: they could be.
You're sort of exploring to see how they're linked or we'll get two separate reports and if there's overlap somewhere then it will become evident?
Precisely because I could see where given the report it's probably a long shot. Supv cortese: exactly. I'm asking county executive bring them both back to us, assume there May be needing to be a delinkage there and that's why I referred to my fourth point you picked up on I think as referring that as a second plan so that those things could move not at all, independently, or together depending on what we find out.
2:44 PMSupervisor samitian's reason for abstaining I think we would whether we want to have a two-step process with the referral back on whether we start providing these services or one very comprehensive report, but this is a big leap with many consequences and I think we would really have to understand all of the pros and cons but if again we're just getting sort of more of a short-term report back just to sort of talk about the parameters and then from there we can decide if we want to take another step towards that that would be fine, too. I just think, um, I don't think we're all that clear on what kind of report we're asking for you, Dr. Smith. again, I would either do it in stages or I would take time to do a comprehensive report for us supv cortese: I think the real question is beyond the linkage that you asked which I think we clarified as whether we need to committed at this point or that we're expressing directing the bona fidee interest what you can get away with in terms of making progress is probably the minimum and the maximum we want to give you at this point.
2:45 PMSure. i'm understanding that the motion basically, um, is asking for two reports one how the county could potentially take over the job of being the rra, which as expressed in this report and previous reports from ssa would be challenging because it would require a contracts with the state. It would also require new staff, and require competency expansion management expansion, um, we're not talking about an easy thing to do. Um, and, um, that would be one report and then the other report would be to come back about childcare pilot. Supv cortese: I guess what i'm asking is how much of a not knowing how much of a commitment do you need to demonstrate in step one on the first part of the referral in terms of conveying, um, the board of supervisors leveled interest at this time? I mean you're going to be the one communicating that I use the word commitment to assume the role which is a pretty strong word still, I think.
2:47 PMI think, um, staff staff person has committed - - communicated with, um, superintendent and some of the cd staff exploring the possibility and looking into, um, what the current status is because we were quite aware that there were audits going on. Foresees which were showing problems and leading us to believe there is a possibility that they would collapse and then now that the, um, director has left there continue to be problems. If i'm understanding your modification, Mr. President, you're saying approach the state again. Tell them it's not just the staff that's interested but that it's the board that's also interested. Obviously we're not going to sign a contract, you know. Supv cortese: I think it's the difference between saying we as a board are formally committed versus we are directing to express our bona fide interest in assuming the role of the rra to be brought back for final consideration.
2:48 PMOkay.
I think that's clear.
Is that an improvement, supervisor yeager? I don't want to under cut to the coo miguel marquez. I don't want to under cut your ability to present a serious opposition, but we're trying to I think manage the comfort level of the board here.
Yeah, and I was going to see if someone on your staff could - - as i'm reading what I understand the regulatory process the cde has to go through and, um, so I understand the board's direction, but I also think we have to be cognizant of what the cde is going to be required to do. So maybe you could help clarify for me and for the board what the cde, whether they could contract with us if we express that formal commitment.
2:49 PMAs there are steps that would have - - . Would have to be followed. There's nothing to prohibit us from expressing interest. So if they do need to follow up and find another provider they will go to current providers in the area, they will do that first. Even if we have expressed interest. If for whatever reason that doesn't pan out, it doesn't materialize in an interested party, they would then go out and open it up, and we would have the opportunity to apply during that process. And, you know, a letter of interest, um, you know, preceding that might be helpful to them, but isn't going to change their process.
2:50 PMWhat is the process.
The process is.
I'm really just asking a paperwork question here.
So if a provider no longer is viable and chooses to the state chooses or the provider chooses not to do business any longer the state will then go to their list of currently approved providers they would then put that out in the streets and say are you interested in picking up a business, the business of this other provider and that is typically how the process goes. Supv cortese: we are not an approved provider yet.
Correct. supv cortese: that's the hurtle i'm trying to get us to accomplish so we can at least have the option of opting in or not.
Right. as it stands, that process will not be opened up to us to anyone new until they've exhausted their current roster. Supv cortese: great. The degree of difficulty supervisor yeager was talking about earlier. The language then it sounds like should be you notify the cde that the county, um, whatever that paper actual process is would like to be on the list of qualified rra providers. Is that better language?
2:51 PMYup. supv chavez: May I follow up on that? Right now there are two providers county-wide is that correct? That are rra sort -t fewed. There are two. One is relatively large, and that's 4cs that has audits - - i'm sorry?
There are two additional go kids and choices for children. Supv chavez: and, um, so right now the volume of work that occurs between the three of them is the bulk of the resources revenue go to 4cs is that accurate?
2:52 PMThere are other childcare programs which include the alternate payment provider and other kinds of programs. Right now the only r & r is with four cs. The other programs are current contractors and that's why they will look at them, first. Supv chavez: except that the - - .
That's just their front. supv chavez: I understand that. Here's what i'm better trying to understand, denise, is that it appears to me that one very particular body of work that 4cs currently, um, does, is not a type of or a volume that the other two institutions that are already providing services, um, do. That they're relatively small compared to the amount of revenue from the state and federal government especially as it relates to subsidies that are going through 4cs. Is that accurate?
2:53 PMI don't know the overall amount of the other two vendors but I assume that's accurate. Supv chavez: I think the volume they have is between 20 and 30 million-dollars annually. You've got 4cs, and then these two smaller entities that are actually providing a different type of service than 4cs. Is that accurate?
Yes. supv chavez: okay, and just to follow up on that the point I was trying to make for my colleagues is that there are a number of audits that are going on relative to 4cs, and some changes in the way that 4cs end up the band width of the services at 4cs is currently providing even then six months ago. Which I don't know if a board's gotten a report on that fully or we've heard it from testimony publicly. So if the question is, and I think it's an important one, from a capacity perspective, who has the capacity to provide the subsidy volume is significant, and then there is the actual provision of childcare which is another component. I know the state offers contracts in that area. So I think those are two bodies of work, both separately that deserve some attention. And let me just say from myself and to my colleagues. Return,return, - - . Serving on bta, we had some problems with one primary contractor that was the designated - - I forgot what the title was, to be able to provide a very specific type of service and they were the only entity - - they were one of two entities again very similar that were designated by the state and federal government to be able to provide a particular service. They literally went out of stopped functioning within a 24 hour period and vta ended up being the entity that had to step in because the volume was so significant. The reason I think we oughta be expressing interest, but even mow assertively than that, having a conversation with the state superintendent schools and determining whether or not what the risk is to the county, um, and I don't mean the county per se, I mean county residents if something should happen to that primary service, do they have a plan in place to be able to address it? What I can tell you from my experience with outreach we did have a plan, we had some hints that something like this could happen. It took us six months of planning, and then weeks of scrambling to be able to fill that gap. In fact, one of the, um, entities I think bta provided service to included the county of santa clara county. And appreciate very much Dr. Smith the way you're framing it for us to think about. But I think we have to be even a little or in addition to that I would just request we're a little more assertive because I think the risks are not insignificant to families and children in our county.
2:56 PMMaybe I can jump in here. um, of course it always depends on how you define taking over. What has, you know, there's a lot of options. There's options of taking the service over, there's also the option on the other side of the of entering into a contract with 4c, they stay as an entity, a qualifying agency, but a contract, um, between the county and 4cs which would involve stabilizing their financial status and have the board of supervisors have some responsibility toward monitoring or managing. And then there's a whole bunch of stuff in between. So, um, if you're asking for us to look at options we could certainly look at options. Supv cortese: i'm not trying to limit - - i'm looking at options as usually a good thing. The four main points I wanted to make here was, um, I was primarily focused on really what supervisor yeager addressed earlier was making sure we have, um, two these are two proposals I didn't want to split up into separate items. We had one agenda item today just asking for both those things to come back, whether they end up being linked or delinked. As far as - - I think what we heard is the process requires us to become eligible first. I can see no harm in becoming eligible to be an rra. So I think we need to give those of us who are going to support this at all need to give the executive that much direction to be clear and unequivocal to, um, the state that we want to - - we want to become an eligible rra. In the mean time, I would assume there's going to be plenty of time to come back and bring us the other bullet points which i'll out line here which is a framework for how would we proceed if eligibility jump on opportunity. Does that make sense? Appreciate the opportunity. Supervisor wasserman - - .
2:58 PMIn the report. supv cortese: we are. But i'm attaching the referral.
2:59 PMOkay. supv cortese: can I have the re - - and I have the referral language printed up, i'll give that to the clerk for the record. You'll just have to go back to the tape here, modify the first item, so that the language is correct. Um, I think we have an understanding, though, of what it is at this point. Okay. We're going to tabulate the votes. Tiffany? It's 4-0, with one abstain.