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River to Coast Children's Services 40th Anniversary Celebration

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River to Coast Children's Services
40th Anniversary Celebration

“Our mission is to nurture the healthy development of children and families in our community.  We offer resources, referrals, support and opportunities to child care providers, families and communities in western Sonoma County”.

 

River Child Care was created in 1976 with four staff members and several family child care homes to meet the needs of working women. The original office space was located at River Lane Resort, 

directly across the street from the current office building at 16300 First Street. In 2007 the 100 year old house was renovated, becoming the safe, energy efficient, attractive site now seen on the northwest corner of First and Church Street in downtown Guerneville and our name changed to River to Coast Children’s Services.

Currently the agency has twelve staff members, serving 40 licensed family child care homes and 24 centers. RCCS provides services to families in Guerneville, Monte Rio, Forestville, Occidental, Graton, Sebastopol, west Santa Rosa, west to the coast and north to the towns of Annapolis and Sea Ranch, an area that includes the Kashia reservation. RCCS serves an estimated 2,100 West County children between the ages of 0 and 12 years, providing subsidies to help pay for child care to about 250 children per year, food and personal care necessities to over 250 children, kindergym to 240 infants and preschoolers, and holiday gifts to 350 children. Our annual budget of $2 million dollars brings money into West County businesses and communities. 

RCCS has made available a variety of resources to children and their families over the last 40 years:  The Child Care Information Resource and Referral Program began in 1979, is funded by a contract from the California Department of Education, Early Education and Support Division. This service assists parents in finding child care and provides consumer education regarding choosing quality programs in licensed centers or family day care homes in their neighborhood. Child care provider education and support is also a crucial part of this Resource and Referral Program contract. In 1992 RCCS was funded to provide Federal Block Grant Alternative Payment child care services, and to provide additional child care in the Family Child Care Program. Welfare Reform CalWORKS funding for child care began in 1998. In addition we have funding for several child care provider development programs to train and support licensed and license-exempt providers, assisting them in providing quality care for the youngest members of the community. 

Helping parents find and pay for child care is big part of what RCCS does. A single father with four children at home had been having hard time paying for child care. He often had to stay home to take care of the children during school breaks because the cost of paying for care during those breaks was more money than he earned during those times. When he found that he was eligible for a subsidy to offset the major cost of child care for the children, he was overwhelmed. He was even able to save some money during the children’s winter break, allowing him to catch up on some past-due bills. Easing financial stress helps strengthen families and RCCS has been assisting families in need for forty years. What families have said about RCCS: “RCCS has helped me in continuing my education and seeking employment opportunities. We have been lucky to receive their services and very thankful for the opportunity to grow and achieve our goals”. “RCCS has always been there when I have questions…I believe they go above and beyond helping families such as mine…”

Past programs include the federally funded Child Care Food Program which was started in 1980 to help supplement the diets of poor children. In 1983 State and County Respite grants began to provide child care and counseling services for children at risk of abuse and neglect. State Preschool Services and Preschool Food Services began in 1986 serving three to five year olds from low-income families. Whenever needs have been identified for more services to families in this region, we have developed programming activities and sought funding to support them.

On Saturday, August 20, 2016, RCCS is hosting a 40th Anniversary celebration at the Forestville Youth Park, 7045 Mirabel Road from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. The community is invited to this FREE event. There will be food, surprises, music, fun and games for families, old friends, supporters, and all the child care community. Hope to see YOU.