CocoKids™ champions children and families
CocoKids™ of Contra Costa County in California exists to improve the lives of children and families. Its work supports the vision for children to be nurtured, healthy and better able to achieve their full potential.
The nonprofit was founded in 1976 as The Contra Costa Child Care Council to provide child care referrals to families with young children in need of quality care. As more families relied on two incomes to financially support the family, it became clear that quality child care was in short supply. It was also apparent that building the skills of child care providers was needed so children could grow up safe and healthy.
At a Glance
Location: San Francisco, CA
Year founded: 1976
Year presented: 2019
Size: 50 - 149 employees
Field: Human services
Fast-forward to 2019. The name change to CocoKids plays off the county’s nickname, and programs and services are available to all income levels to support the physical, emotional and spiritual health of Contra Costa County’s children.
Executive Director John F. Jones brings a sensitivity to the needs of children to his work. “This is where we can make the biggest impact,” he said. “Everyone leaves high school or college thinking they’re going to change the world. Change is slow, but the group to do it is the next generation. Improvement in our society is based on the children we raise today, and that’s bigger than my neighborhood or my community or my world – it’s global.”
One of CocoKids’ biggest services is a subsidy program for families needing child care. The organization also offers a quality improvement program to help child care providers enhance their environments and upgrade their quality of care.
Referrals remain at the heart of the services CocoKids provides, since many residents of the Bay Area continue to need two incomes to make ends meet.
“It makes good economic sense,” Jones said. “Quality child care allows parents to work and provide a stable environment for their children. And when you’re comfortable that your child is in a safe place with good care providers, it allows you to excel at your work. Everyone benefits.”
Part of the success of CocoKids is the longevity and low turnover of its staff. Employees regularly rank pay and benefits as reasons to stay with the organization – behind commitment to the company mission and service to their community.
Clearly, connecting CocoKids employees with the company mission is a fundamental part of the organization’s success. Because the nonprofit values the HR expertise Insperity provides its clients, CocoKids depends upon the company for HR support.
“When people ask about Insperity, I tell them you can hire them to do your payroll or recruitment, but the bulk of what we take advantage of is the training – and also the perks and offers through MarketPlace.”
At the same time, Insperity values CocoKids’ commitment to its customers, community and the local economy. After all, happy parents make for better employees, which in turn sparks growth, innovation and prosperity at the grassroots level.
In recognition of Jones and his team’s commitment, Insperity recognized CocoKids through the 2019 Community Heroes initiative.
Jones said the honor meant a lot to the organization. “No one goes into nonprofit work for recognition or to be in the spotlight. My staff works really hard to help others and improve their lot in life, so the recognition is truly appreciated.”
“Improvement in our society is based on the children we raise today, and that’s bigger than my neighborhood or my community or my world – it’s global.” John F. JonesCocoKids executive director