In 1999, the City of San José leveraged redevelopment and grant funds to expand the availability of quality child care by offering early care and education programs assistance in constructing, expanding and improving their sites. In exchange for funds, programs entered into written agreements to meet Smart Start Program Quality Standards that promoted quality environments and kindergarten readiness. Dozens of child care centers and family child care homes were certified as part of this early learning initiative, creating thousands of new child care spaces across the City.
Smart Start San José Affiliated Sites
Based on the success of the first Smart Start site certification initiative, a new Smart Start San José Affiliation Process has been created to further expand the availability of quality child care in San José. Smart Start invites all existing licensed early care and education sites to apply to become a recognized Smart Start San José Affiliate site.
Benefits of Becoming a Smart Start San José Affiliated Site
Families have a choice about where to enroll their young children for early care and education. As part of a public education campaign focusing on families, the City will begin marketing Smart Start as a symbol of quality child care programs in San José. Having Smart Start Affiliate status may encourage families to choose your early care and education program. This is just one of many benefits of becoming a Smart Start San José Affiliate site. Smart Start Affiliates also will receive:
- Signage identifying your program as a Smart Start San José site
- A program listing on the Smart Start San José website with program information and current vacancy information
- A special notation on Santa Clara County 4C Council referrals
- Books for Little Hands Curriculum Kits and Bookbags
- Priority registration for all Smart Start trainings, conferences, and seminars
- Access to available support services and programs for administrators, teachers, parents, and children
- Technical assistance support
- Networking and shared program enhancement opportunities with other Smart Start San José programs
In addition to these benefits, Smart Start Affiliates will benefit from the newest Smart Start Affiliate initiative, the Smart Start San Jose Social Worker Program. This program links social work interns from San José State University with Smart Start Affiliate sites to provide access to community resources and support services that address issues facing young children, families and site staff.
How to Become a Smart Start San José Affiliated Site
To become a Smart Start Affiliate site, child care centers and small and large family child care homes must meet eight basic requirements:
- Have an active license from the State of California, Community Care Licensing
- Be in good standing with the State of California, Community Care Licensing Division, with no “A” citations within the last five years (this requirement may be waived on a case by case basis)
- Possess current liability insurances
- Provide services within the boundaries of City of San José
- Have provided licensed early care and education services to children, aged birth to 5, for at least the past 18 months
- Provide evidence of alignment with all “Basic Quality Strategies” of the Smart Start San José Program Quality Standard Guidelines
- Participate in a site visit and interview
- Be willing to sign and adhere to conditions of Smart Start San José Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for a minimum of three years
To apply to become a Smart Start San José Affiliate site, please return a completed application with a copy of your current license(s) to: Smart Start San José, Early Care and Education Services, 150 E. San Fernando Street, San José, California 95112. After a satisfactory review of the application and a Community Care Licensing record check, Smart Start staff will contact applicants to arrange for a site visit and interview to confirm the information submitted and review the terms of the MOU. A determination of acceptance will be mailed to sites that successfully complete the screening and interview process.
For more information about the Smart Start San José Affiliation Process, please contact Smart Start at (408) 808-2617, or email Smart Start at email@example.com.
Smart Start San José Family Child Care Training Program
If you are considering becoming a licensed family child care home provider or an existing provider seeking to improve the quality of your early care and education program, the Smart Start San José Family Child Care Training Program may be able to help you. Through accessible, flexible coursework, Smart Start sponsors training in a wide range of areas from business counseling and pre-licensing assistance to home evaluation and the Smart Start San José Program Quality Standards Guidelines. In addition, the Family Child Care Training Program offers specialized workshops, personalized technical assistance in setting up and improving family child care areas within your home, and many more benefits.
Training is usually offered at library sites throughout San José, is free to participants and delivered in both English and Spanish. For more information about the program, please contact Smart Start San José at (408) 808-2617.