Child Care Links Helps Parents Raise Healthier Children

Child Care Links is a private, nonprofit agency that provides resources that strengthen and support children and their families. An estimated 90% of brain development happens by the time a child is five. The goal of Child Care Links is to ensure that every child in Alameda County gets the resources needed during those early years to develop happy, productive lives as they grow older.

The nonprofit helps families access services both at Child Care Links and through other agencies and organizations. Many parents are unaware that Child Care Links provides a broad range of services beyond child-care referrals including workshops, free instruction on installing child safety seats, and free diapers to eligible families.

One example is a two-part workshop for parents called Separation and Divorce: The Effects on Children, which begins on November 7. Another is free instruction from certified Car Seat Safety Technicians on how to properly install a child's safety seat. That matters because an estimated 70% of child safety seats in the US are installed incorrectly.

Some clients need additional resources. A growing number of Tri-Valley families rely on the Child Care Links Diaper Pantry. The Diaper Pantry provides low-income families with a one-month supply of disposable diapers, a children's book, and recommended activities during diaper time that help babies and young children develop talking, reading, and singing skills.

According to the National Diaper Bank Network, one in three American families cannot afford to buy all the diapers their families need. There is no state or federal child safety-net program that allocates dollars specifically for diaper needs, according to the organization, which notes that disposable diapers cost a minimum of $70 per baby and cannot be purchased with food stamps.

The Child Care Links Diaper Pantry helps address that problem by donating 30,000 diapers to low-income Alameda County families every month. On her first visit, one young mother told staffers that she was forced to choose between food for her family and diapers for her toddler.

"When we told her she could receive both a month's supply of diapers and a bag full of food for her family, she cried," says Kelly O'Lague Dulka, MSW, who joined Child Care Links as Chief Executive Officer in January 2018. "While our services are open to all, we are committed to serving the lowest income, youngest, most vulnerable children in our county."

Child Care Links relies on the generosity of donors to keep its Diaper Pantry supplied. Unfortunately, the need is outstripping the donations. O'Lague Dulka encourages the Hacienda community to consider donating diapers to support its work. Donations can be accepted in person or they can be purchased and delivered via an online shopping service for a simple, fast, and meaningful way to make a difference in the lives of many.

Providing young children with a healthy environment in which to learn and grow is good for the public, according to the Harvard Center on the Developing Child. "Three of the most rigorous long-term studies found a range of returns between $4 and $9 for every dollar invested in early learning programs for low-income children."

Child Care Links started in 1976. Today the nonprofit has offices in Pleasanton, Fremont, and Oakland and provides services to nearby cities as well. In addition to child-care referrals, it also offers some families financial subsidies for child care. Such subsidies make it possible for low- and very low-income parents to accept work or attend school while their children are safely in care.

For more information about Child Care Links, please visit

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