First 5 Yolo

Child Care Access

Free child care referrals and other child care services and supports for parents, guardians and child care providers living and working in Yolo County are available through Children’s Home Society. Child Care Referrals are free and available to anyone regardless of income. Child care subsidies are available based on need and income. To learn more about available services contact Children’s Home Society at: (530) 645-6265 or e-mail: Website:

Child Care Quality

Access to affordable, high-quality childcare was expressed as a primary concern by Yolo County parents during a comprehensive needs assessment conducted in 2008. Quality childcare enhances learning environments to optimally support the healthy development of young children. This include workforce development and retention of childcare providers. In addition, the need for affordable childcare, including infant care, that could be accessed during non-traditional hours of care was also a major need. The Commission will address concerns about quality and affordability by funding nearly $400,000 per year for activities that increase the number of high quality, affordable center-based, home based and/or public childcare spaces.

City of Davis, Childcare Services Race to The Top - Early Learning Challenge Grant (RTT-ELC) and Child Signature Program #2 (CSP2)

The RTT-ELC and CSP2 are voluntary programs for childcare providers and private and public preschool classrooms to offer a systematic, county-wide approach to reaching the objective of quality childcare. By focusing on improving quality through training and capacity building, the overall access to quality childcare will increase throughout Yolo County.

RTT-ELC supports parents and providers by establishing a Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS), a 5 tiered "ladder", that identifies evidence based areas of quality and early care and education programs. Using this system families and others can identify annual achievements of participating providers and their status on the QRIS continuum. The intent is that providers will increase key quality elements at their site and move higher on the ladder, ensuring even higher levels of quality learning environments for children. Providers are supported throughout the process with training, technical assistance, resources, professional development opportunities and incentives to help them achieve their quality goals.

CSP2 focuses on readying individual classrooms for being of highest qulity for potential future funding as determined by First 5 CA and in alignment with RTT-ELC. The program provides supportive services, training, professional development opportunities and resources to educators and teachers in the public sector (State Preschool, Head Start/Early Head Start, grant funded programs). The Kindergarten Readiness Assessment tool is used to determine quality elements and measure classroom status.

Major components of the program include:

  • Onsite education, support and resources to private center and family childcare staff enrolled in programs
  • Onsite training, resources and technical assistance to increase capacity for family childcare center staff to care for children with special needs
  • Financial incentives for RTT participants to gain growth on QRIS
  • Help coordinate trainings and professional development opportunities in region

Comprehensive Approaches to Raising Educational Standards (CARES)

The CARES Plus program is now being administered by the Yolo County Office of Education. Please visit their website at for more information

Childcare Mini-grant Program

First 5 Yolo established a mini-grant program for family childcare providers in 2002 and has distributed over $75,000 since that time to providers throughout the county. Licensed or license-exempt providers may apply for up to $1,000 to improve the quality of their home centers. Requested materials are pre-approved by the City of Davis, Childcare Services Agency after the providers are rated on an environmental-quality assessment. All materials purchased directly relate to the scores on the assessment and are used to improve quality in areas where providers score lower than the ideal.