Early Childhood Education

National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA)

 

The National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA) was formed in 1984. NACCRRA’s earliest mission statements described the organization’s two main goals: to promote the growth and development of quality child-care resource and referral (CCR&R) services, and to exercise national policy leadership to build a diverse, quality child-care system with parental choice and equal access for all families. NACCRRA continues to balance its dual purposes to serve its membership and to highlight the child-care needs of the nation’s children and families.

Child-care resource and referral agencies provide a range of services to parents, child-care providers, and their communities. CCR&R has its roots in the following:

• Federal legislation (Community Coordinated Child Care in 1967-1969, and the Dependent Care Grant in 1984)

• National support efforts (The Ford Foundation (1978); Wheelock College Summer Seminars (1983); and Work/Family Directions & IBM (1984)

• Telephone messages from parents and communities to early childhood programs throughout the nation

These efforts were attempts to respond to questions about quality child care, for example, Where is it? Who is providing it? How do I pay for it?

NACCRRA was created by a show of hands at a meeting during the 1984 Annual Conference of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). A 1997 history of NACCRRA describes the progress of the new organization, which was incorporated in 1987. Under its energetic board of directors, the group’s national office was established in Washington, DC, and Yasmina Vinci was hired as first executive director in 1993, with Linda K. Smith becoming the second executive director in 2003.

Almost two decades after its founding, NACCRRA continues to focus on the needs of the nation’s children and families through membership services, family support information, and community development by providing strategic planning, research and policy activities, and innovative partnership practices. NACCRRA’s strategic planning activities created the following:

• A regional structure that captures geographical differences and similarities and provides the basis for Regional Institutes.

• Membership categories for agencies and individuals and multiple benefits.

• An Annual Policy Symposium, which started in 1989 and includes The Day on the Hill, when NACCRRA members meet with their state congressional delegations.

• NACCRRA Counts!, which started in 1994 and creates statistical reports.

• NACCRRA Live!, which started in 1994 and sets up teleconference calls among members.

• Quality Assurance, an accreditation process for CCR&R agencies that started in 2002.

NACCRRA’s research and policy advocacy events helped create the following:

• The ABC Bill, 1988

• The first of annual NACCRRA Policy Agendas and a U.S. Senate Hearing on Quality Child Care, 1994

• The National Doll Campaign, 1995

NACCRRA’a partnerships among colleagues include the following:

• The Family to Family Project, which became Child Care Aware in 1990 (see www.childcareaware.org)

• April 19th Group—organizations speaking with one voice on child care, 1993; continuing with Child Care NOW Coalition, 2005

• Healthy Child Care America, 1994

• NACCRRAWare, Web-based child care searches, 2001

• Better Baby Care, 2001

• NRex, Web-based NACCRRA Resource Exchange, 2001

• Parent Central, 2004

• U.S. Department of Defense Operation Child Care, 2004

The selected NACCRRA publications listed below are available online at http://www.naccrra.org.

Further Readings: The Daily Parent. (A bimonthly newsletter on topics of interest to parents of children in child care distributed to NACCRRA member agencies who in turn make it available to the parents in their service area); NACCRRA Link (2005). Quarterly membership publication; National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (1997). NACCRRA at ten: A Commemorative history of NACCRRA. Washington, DC: NACCRRA; National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (2005). Nurturing children after national disasters: A booklet for child care providers. Washington, DC: NACCRRA; Technical Assistance Papers (TAP). Occasional papers on significant early care and education topics.

Edna Ranck