Connecting You with the Help You Need

We are committed to supporting our essential service workers. If you or someone you know is part of the Essential Critical Infrastructure, we are offering enhanced referral services. This includes a specialized search within our database of licensed family child care homes and centers.

Call us directly at 619-952-0242 and one of our advisors will work with you to locate a provider that matches your family's immediate needs. Advisors are available:

  • Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 5:00pm
  • Saturday - Sunday, 8:00am - 12:00pm.

If the phone line is busy, please leave a message. We will return your call as soon as possible. Our phone line is staffed at all times, and this is a dedicated line for health and emergency response fields.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are Enhanced Child Care Referrals?

When a parent calls our referral line (1-800-481-2151) seeking child care, one of our advisors can conduct a detailed search of programs that fit the criteria the parent is looking for and contact those programs to confirm space is available for the family’s child(ren). In these uncertain times, availability (or unavailability) of child care programs changes minute to minute. 

How does it work? 

  1. When a parent calls our referral line, it's answered by a child care advisor (a real human).

  2. The advisor asks the parent a list of questions (ages of children, full time or part time care, location, etc.) to identify needs.

  3. The advisor generates a list (from our online database that houses ALL licensed child care programs in the county) of available child care programs that meet the parent’s criteria.

  4. The advisor calls each child care providers within a ZIP code radius specifically asking if they are available to care for the children for that specific parent.

  5. Finally, the advisor emails a list of available providers who can care for their child immediately.

The turnaround time averages two hours from when the parent calls in, to when our advisors gives them a list.

Who can use enhanced child care referrals? 

Anyone can call the 1-800-481-2151 for child care referrals and receive the same service. We have a separate cell phone number specifically for health care, law enforcement, first responders, and military parents who are in need of care. The number is 619-952-0242.

Do parents have to call that number? 

Child care searches can be done online Our CRS team is working tirelessly to ensure that the list that is generated on this site is the most updated with program closures. However, as I mentioned earlier, child care program operations change minute to minute. To ensure that parents are receiving the best service, encourage them to call the referral line. Our advisors are nice, I promise.

How do we know that the child care providers are safe and clean?

We are referring parents to licensed child care programs. We encourage parents to talk to the providers directly. Child care programs that remain open, are encouraged to follow the Safety & Health Guidance – COVID-19 Infection Prevention in Childcare Programs from the California Department of Industrial Relations Division of Occupational Safety & Health (OSHA). The email included with the referrals encourages parents to contact Community Care Licensing and review a child care provider’s status before enrolling their child.

Keeping You Updated 

See updates to the Y's response regarding the evolving coronavirus situation at Find links to additional resources and activities for your family on the Virtual YMCA page.  

About YMCA Childcare Resource Service

Since 1980, YMCA Childcare Resource Service (YMCA CRS) has strengthened communities, families, and children by fighting for equitable access to quality child care. As the only state funded child care resource and referral agency in San Diego County, YMCA CRS offers professional development opportunities at no cost to child care providers and makes sure families are connected to the child care arrangement that best meets their needs. A solid child care infrastructure helps families build career mobility and earning potential while their children are cared for in a nurturing environment that lays the foundation for a lifetime of success. YMCA CRS is a social service branch of the YMCA of San Diego County.