California MAP
California MAP
Working Together

Guide to County Resource Organizations


Regional Center

Regional Centers are nonprofit private corporations that contract with the Department of Developmental Services to provide or coordinate services and supports for individuals with developmental disabilities. They have offices throughout California to provide a local resource to help find and access the many services available to individuals and their families. For more information, please see the California Department of Developmental Services page on Regional Centers.


Early Start Family Resource Centers (ESFRC)

Implementation of Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act mandates states to implement a comprehensive early intervention service system for all infants and toddlers with disabilities or at risk, and their families. Family support services are included in these systems.

In California, Early Start Family Resource Centers are part of the Early Start Program. Staffed by families of children with special needs, family resource centers offer parent-to-parent support and help parents, families, and children locate and use needed services. They offer support services and resources in many languages, which may include newsletters, resource libraries, websites, parent-to-parent groups, sibling support groups, warmlines, and information and referral for parents and professionals.


Special Education Local Plan Areas (SELPAS)

In 1977, all school districts and county school offices were mandated to form consortiums in geographical regions of sufficient size and scope to provide for all special education service needs of children residing within the region boundaries. Each region, Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA), developed a local plan describing how it would provide special education services.

SELPAs are dedicated to the belief that all students can learn and that special needs students must be guaranteed equal opportunity to become contributing members of society. SELPAs facilitate high quality educational programs and services for special needs students and training for parents and educators. The SELPA collaborates with county agencies and school districts to develop and maintain healthy and enriching environments in which special needs students and families can live and succeed.


Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (R&R)

Child Care Resource and Referral (R&R) agencies are located in every county in California. Over the last four decades, R&R services have evolved from a grassroots effort to help parents find child care, to a well-developed system that supports parents, providers, and local communities in finding, planning for, and providing affordable, quality child care. The state, through the California Department of Education, Early Education & Support Division, has supported these efforts since 1976.


Local Child Care Planning and Development Councils (LPC)

The primary mission of the Local Child Care and Development Planning Councils (LPCs) is to plan for child care and development services based on the needs of families in the local community. LPCs are intended to serve as a forum to address the child care needs of all families in the community for all types of child care, both subsidized and non-subsidized. There are currently LPCs representing each county in California. (See Education Code, Chapter 2.3, Article 1, Section 8499 and Article 2, Sections 8499.3, 8499.5 and 8499.7.)


County First 5 Commissions

The County First 5 Commissions work to improve the lives of the county’s youngest children and their families through an effective, coordinated, and inclusive implementation of the California Children and Families Act also known as Proposition 10, which was enacted in 1998. The ultimate goal is to enhance the health and early growth experiences of children, enabling them to be more successful in school and to give them a better opportunity to succeed in life.


Early Head Start

Early Head Start is a federally funded community-based program for low-income families with pregnant women, infants, and toddlers up to age 3. It is a program that came out of the Head Start Program. In addition to providing or linking families with needed services—medical, mental health, nutrition, and education—Early Head Start can provide a place for children to experience consistent, nurturing relationships and stable, ongoing routines. Early Head Start Programs offer three different options and programs may offer one or more to families. The three options are: a home-based option, a center-based option, or a combination option in which families get a set number of home visits and a set number of center-based experiences, There are also locally designed options, which in some communities include family child care.


Head Start

Head Start is a Federal program for preschool children from low-income families. The Head Start program is operated by local non-profit organizations in almost every county in the country. Children who attend Head Start participate in a variety of educational activities. They also receive free medical and dental care, have healthy meals and snacks, and enjoy playing indoors and outdoors in a safe setting. Head Start helps all children succeed. Services are offered to meet the special needs of children with disabilities. Most children in Head Start are between the ages of 3 and 5 years old. Services are also available to infants and toddlers in selected sites.


Support for Inclusion

Inclusion specialists or consultants are available in some counties to facilitate inclusion of children with special needs in child care settings. Contact information for the agencies that provide this kind of inclusion support is reported here if it is available.


CA Teaching Pyramid/CA CSEFEL Partner Sites

School districts, preschool programs and county collaboratives that are implementing the CA Teaching Pyramid approach system wide are listed here with a brief description. The implementation sites listed have a leadership team that meets regularly, staff trained on all modules of the CA Teaching Pyramid, and have received coaching. For more information, contact