Last Updated: 8/22/2016
Child Care Links, formerly Resources for Family Development (RFD), was established in 1976 in response to the State of California’s interest in establishing innovative systems to deliver child care services. Child Care Links is a not-for-profit, tax exempt agency (501-C-3) serving Alameda County.
Child Care Links has grown from an initial budget of $150,000 in 1976, to over $21 million in 2016. Initially, the agency was funded to serve the Tri-Valley. In 1980 the agency expanded its services and programs to serve families residing in the tri-city area (Fremont, Newark, Union City). In 1998 the agency opened an office in Oakland to serve CalWORKs Stage 1 families transitioning into employment.
From its inception in 1976, RFD/Child Care Links has been funded by the California Department of Education to deliver subsidized child care services to eligible families in Livermore, Pleasanton, Dublin and Sunol. Prior to 1976, subsidized child care was only available in wholly subsidized child care centers. Since then, alternative agencies, such as Child Care Links, have been established throughout California. In 1980, the agency’s service area for the provision of child care subsidies through the California Department of Education was expanded. Additional funding was granted for Fremont, Newark and Union City. Services for families needing short term respite care due to family emergencies were added in 1983. Currently Child Care Links receives Federal, State, County, and City funding to provide child care referrals, subsidized child care and parent/provider education and training.
In 1989, the agency began receiving funds from Alameda County Social Services Greater Avenues for Independence program, (GAIN) to provide subsidies to TANF (Temporary Aid to Needy Families) families in job training programs. This program was revised and expanded to meet the needs of Welfare Reform and is now called CalWORKs. Child Care Links provides services to participants out of our Pleasanton and Oakland offices for this program.
Resource and Referral services have been provided under a contract with the California Department of Education since 1976. Child Care Links has been providing referrals to licensed child care centers, family child care homes, and preschools, as well as referrals to community resources since 1977.
Resource and referral services have also included provider training and recognition, play groups, a lending library, and many other programs implemented to serve families and providers.
Ruth Freis and Miriam Miller made many contributions to the child care field individually before teaming up to create Freis, Miller and Associates, Inc. in 1972. Together they provided consulting services and developed child care programs. Ruth and Miriam identified and acted on the needs of the Tri-Valley parents and providers when they formed Valley Child Care. The two initiated a plan for a regional child care agency in the Tri-Valley, an area previously without publicly funded services.
A local newspaper article in 1976 commented that their ideas sounded like a “pipe dream.” According to the article, this “pipe dream” included reasonably priced child care that would allow even low-income people to work; a centralized phone number so parents could find care as soon as they had a job; a lending library for providers; and a van to pick up kids after school. At this time Ruth and Miriam were applying for grants to fund their “pipe dream.”
RFD/CCL was awarded a $150,000 contract from the State Department of Education in 1977. In addition to negotiating for other sources of public funding, they secured and administered contracts with the California State Department of Education for fee subsidies; a resource and referral program; a child care food program; training; and technical assistance. Together Fries, Miller and associates became consultants to governmental agencies across the nation and lobbied for parental choice in child care.
Today, following the retirement of Freis and Miller, Child Care Links continues to advocate for safe, affordable child care, provide safety and nutrition resources all while keeping the mission of the founders close to its heart.