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Picturing brighter futures.

Children & Family Services

  • Overview

    A great start in life and peace of mind.

    Numerous studies show that when children receive high quality care and education during their early years of life, they are better prepared for school, become better readers, and are more likely to graduate high school.  These outcomes benefit every child and family, and our community as a whole.

    Knowing this, Community Action Marin has provided high quality early child care and education to the families of Marin for over 30 years.  We have grown to become the largest provider of subsidized child care in the county, serving over 800 families each day at  18 campuses from Marin City to Novato, and San Rafael to West Marin.

    We proudly serve as the lead agency for all federally-funded Head Start programs in Marin, plus operate a network of our own Child Development Programs to bring the same quality services to families who may not qualify for Head Start.

    We help set children up to do well in school and later in life by giving them a safe, caring, home-away-from-home to have fun, learn and explore.

    Children’s Services, By the Numbers

    How much of a child’s brain that’s developed by age 6
    Number of working families that seek childcare to stay employed
    Percentage of families with children under 6 in which both parents work

    At the end of the day, I feel really grateful that what I do is contributing to an environment and stability of our children’s programs.

    Carl Waldecker, Facilities Manager > Facilities Manager

    Success Story

    Bertha’s Story – Loving care for her son while she pursued an education and built a new career

    Bertha enrolled her son Daniel in our program a month after his third birthday.  She was desperate to find an affordable quality preschool for him so she could attend college full-time and pursue a new career in medical assisting, but had trouble finding one she could afford as a student earning only part-time wages.  In addition, Daniel had attended a daycare since he was four months old and the transition from that known place to a new preschool environment was quite drastic for him.

    Our teachers welcomed Bertha and Daniel with extra support through the transition and encouraged Bertha to pursue her education with peace of mind.   As days went by, Daniel settled in well and began to show enthusiasm for attending school every day.   Today, Bertha has an active career in medical assisting and Daniel has moved on to elementary school after years in our program.

    “As a parent, I am so thankful to this program. It has given me the opportunity to pursue my education and career,” says Bertha.  “They have taken such good care of my son and given me the chance to earn a degree in Medical Assisting. I never would have been able to pursue this career goal it weren’t for this Community Action Marin.”

  • Programs

    Early years of childhood form the basis of intelligence, personality, social behavior, and capacity to learn and nurture oneself as an adult. Our children’s services team knows that the demand for child care is higher than the supply, and we work with every family to help offer both free and affordable options to ensure that children are given the early learning experiences they need to thrive.

    Our programs provide cognitive, physical, social, emotional and language development of the whole child, foster a passion for learning, and give working parents vital support to help the whole family thrive.

    While our parents work to provide for their family, and pursue their educational and career goals, we give them peace of mind knowing their children are getting the high-quality, early education they need and deserve.

    Beyond caring for children, we partner with families on side-by-side goal setting based on mutual respect, equity, inclusiveness, and cultural responsiveness.  We offer parent workshops that give parents the knowledge, skills and opportunities to prepare their children to succeed.


    Head Start

    Head Start ensures that income-eligible children ages 0-5 years in Marin County get the experiences and opportunities to prepare them to succeed in school and later in life.

    Child Development Program

    Community Action Marin’s Child Development Program has operated quality childcare centers for over 30 years. A child’s individual development, culture, and learning styles are affirmed and nurtured. Age-appropriate curriculum activities support: literacy and math skills, science and exploration, creativity and joy in learning. Our program provides a safe, caring, home-away-from-home in warm settings. We serve children from 18 months to 12 years of age.

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