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Looking for Child Care: Our Referral Process

Need Child Care? Crystal Stairs Resource and Referral Service is here to help!

Need Child Care? Crystal Stairs Resource and Referral Service is here to help! The Resource & Referral Program at Crystal Stairs receives more than 4,524 calls from parents and guardians each year who are looking for child care for infants, preschool and school age children. When you call our Referral Line at (888) KIDS-247, a friendly and knowledgeable Child Care Referral Specialist will assist you. Our lines are open Monday - Thursday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., but you can leave a message 24 hours a day and we will return your call during the next business day.

Our Child Care Referral Specialist will work with you to find the child care referrals to programs in the Crystal Stairs service area. The Referral Specialist will also give you information on the different types of child care programs and answer your questions about what to look for and how to select a quality child care programs. He/she can also direct you to our Intake Unit if you need assistance paying for child care.

Before you call

  • Decide where you would like child care.
  • Near your home?
  • Near your work?
  • Near your child’s school?
  • Do you need full time (30+ hours) or part time(less than 30 hours) care?
  • Do you need any special services such as transportation to school or evening hours?
  • What days and hours do you need care - weekdays and/or weekends?
  • Does your child have any special needs?
  • What is the name of the closest public elementary school where care is needed (if you have a school-age child)?
  • Be sure to have paper and pen/pencil ready to write down referral names, phone numbers and license numbers.
  • Schedule uninterrupted time for a quality referral call.

During your initial referral call

The Child Care Referral Specialist will introduce him/herself and ask for the spelling of your first and last name. This will enable the Child Care Referral Specialist to check if you have an existing record with us. If there is no record on file, the Child Care Referral Specialist will begin one.

During the referral process, your Child Care Referral Specialist will ask for information on the birth date of children who need care, type of care, and special services you are looking for. If you need help paying for your child care let the Referral Specialist know at the beginning of the call. He/she can help you after the referral has been completed by directing you to our Intake Unit where you can be assessed to determine if you qualify for enrollment on the Los Angeles County Centralized Childcare Eligibility List. Your answers are kept confidential.

Your child care referrals

After all your information is typed into the computer, the program sorts out child care centers or licensed family child care homes which have indicated they provide the care and services you are requesting such as -

  1. Age of child
  2. Full or part time care
  3. Weekdays, weekends, holidays
  4. Year round, off-track, summer only, 12-month care
  5. Drop-in, evening or overnight care
  6. Variable schedules/shifts
  7. Elementary school area
  8. Transportation (school age only)
  9. Special Needs experience, training or education

The Child Care Referral Specialist will give you 3-5 referral names if available, telephone numbers and license number to write down. The last names will be spelled for you. It is important to have the correct spelling of a provider or program name in order to check their file with the licensing agency – Community Care Licensing, Los Angeles Northwest Regional Office (310) 337-4333 or Los Angeles East Regional Office (323) 981-3350.

Additional resources

Your Child Care Referral Specialist will automatically mail you a free Choosing Child Care Resource Packet. The packet has several Choosing Child Care brochures and includes a checklist to use when visiting potential programs. A reminder notice to call Community Care Licensing, to check a provider's history of complaints or violations is also included. The Child Care Referral Specialist can also tell you about the parenting materials we have available if you are interested on a specific child development topic.

More referrals or assistance

You may call back as often as you like for more referrals. Just call our referral line at (888) KIDS-247 and give us your name or phone number. The next group of referrals on your list will come up automatically and will be read to you. We can change the area of your search at any time and answer any question you may have about your child care search. Please do not hesitate to call back if you visit a program and have questions or concerns about what you saw or heard.

Our goal is to assist parents and guardians in becoming good consumers of child care. We want to help you find the best care possible that meets your child and family needs. When you invest time and thought in your search, you can find a child care provider who provides a secure, safe and nurturing environment for your child.