State Defunds 4Cs, Marking Beginning of the End for Decades-Old Childcare Nonprofit

After nearly five decades, 4Cs will be no more.

The Community Child Care Council of Santa Clara County—a taxpayer-backed daycare nonprofit better known by its abbreviated moniker—has until the end of June to hand off $40-million-a-year in government contracts. All this, thanks to the egregious mismanagement of its director Joe Manarang and BFF board prez Ben Menor.

The California Department of Education (CDE) decided against refunding the agency because of flagrant misspending, for one. But also, because the head honchos at 4Cs couldn’t secure a $2.1 million line of credit—Manarang because of a bankruptcy and Menor because of his storied history of alleged embezzlement.

Below is a copy of an email a CDE official sent to local orgs, giving them a heads up.

The California Department of Education (CDE) has made the final decision not to offer FY 2020-21 funding to Community Child Care Council of Santa Clara County Inc. (4Cs) for the following contracts:

California Alternative Program (CAPP), CalWORKs Stage 2 Alternative Payment Program (C2AP), CalWORKs Stage 3 Alternative Payment Program (C3AP), General Child Care and Development Programs (CCTR), Family Child Care Home Education Networks (CFCC), Child Care Initiative Project (CCIP), Health and Safety Training Activities (CHST), and Resource and Referral Program (CRRP) .  

The Early Learning and Care Division (ELCD) will be working with other Santa Clara County contracting agencies to ensure continuity of (1) services for the children and families and (2) CDE’s collaborations with service providers in Santa Clara County. As a community partner, your support is important as we facilitate this transition. We look forward to your support. 

The winding-down of the organization will impact 1,600 families with a combined 2,600 kids who depend on the agency for subsidized childcare. It will also end payments to 1,100 daycare providers who will end up having to shift their contracts to some other contractor—which one, exactly, remains unclear.

Some local officials who spoke to Fly say it’s possible that the Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) will take over some of the work. However, an email from SCCOE Director of Childcare Planning and Support Michael Garcia indicates that even that agency’s still trying to figure out how to deal with the news.

Subject: FW:  4C’s Santa Clara County

Dear Jolene & FIRST 5 team:

At the request of the California Department of Education/Early Learning and Care Division, I was asked to forward this message to our local early learning partners. Please see below, will keep in touch with CDE/ELCD on this in the days and weeks ahead. Among other things, I am currently seeking clarification on the signatory requirements of the QCC local consortia application grant.



Meanwhile, the fact that Menor and Manarang haven’t even informed their own rank-and-file is being held up as another example of the pair’s abject incompetence.

“They’re just acting like it’s business as usual,” a veteran staffer, who requested anonymity, told Fly. “They haven’t announced that some 80 or 85 of us will be out of a job by the end of June, the end of the fiscal year.”

As ever, it’s a mess—enough so that the DA’s taken an interest.

And for the incredible feat of leading a 50-year-old institution to slaughter, inside sources say Menor and his governing board of allegiant cohorts rewarded Manarang—the guy who didn’t even show up to work for several months—with a $20,000 raise.

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  1. California cutting off funds to some fiscally irresponsible institution? Just some more money that can be handed out to illegal alien’s and friends to buy votes no doubt.

    • Screw an expensive audit that will divert funds from worthwhile programs. Wake up voters. Dump all snowflake incumbents. I know that will never happen, because California in general and the Bay Area in particular are dominated by snowflake officials elected by snowflake voters who still don’t understand that people like Ben Menor and Joe Manarang are installed and allowed to continue to steal by snowflake elected officials.

  2. NGOs, festering pot of good intentions corrupted by the lack of faith.

    Wake up people, the city council is not a path to redemption.

    • The board is comprised of all of Ben’s friends. He chooses them all and nobody has access to them except for Ben and Joe. Employees have complained about the board’s close ties to Ben to CDE since the previous administration when Fred Villasenor was in charge – more than 3 years ago. They’ve only now decided, during a major pandemic, to pull contracts instead of removing the two men responsible. It’s the families, children, providers, and employees who now must re-establish themselves with new agencies and personnel. It’s disappointing and irresponsible that entities like 4C’s and CDE didn’t open the floor for opinions and suggestions from the communities they actually serve – otherwise they might learn how to better manage these programs. And it’s not the employees fault with either organization, but the people in power making these life changing decisions.

  3. Your “Staffer” who wishes to remain to maintain anonymity either lied, or has not been coming to work. Joe and Ben have kept the employees abreast of the situation. We had meetings to inform us that we may lose the contract. We had a meeting to inform us that we did lose the contract. Each of these were in a timely manner and allowed employees to have questions answered and to express opinions and frustrations.

    • LOL only because they had to. they took no accountability for their actions and have no empathy to show for the loss they have caused to children, parents, providers, and the EMPLOYEES.

  4. Kind of late in the game to finally be able say that employees are being informed about what is happening, wouldn’t you say? All those years of employees kept in dark about the true state of the agency; now there is nothing left, but to observe the end of another woefully mismanaged nonprofit. Who will really be hurt by this closure? Parents will continue services with other agencies without interruption, as will providers. The true victims here are the HARD WORKING, UNAPPRECIATED, UNDERPAID employees who will now have to scramble to find new employment during a pandemic. It sickens me to think of all the years Ben Menor was treated like a king, with his own office at the agency and use of the Northside Center for whatever functions he wanted, personal and otherwise. Shame on CDE for being aware for years of gross mismanagement and what was their solution? They chose to turn the other way until it was too late. Shame on the 4Cs management staff who never took responsibility for their incompetence and mismanagement and instead passed the buck, blaming staff for all of its woes.

  5. Joe and Ben are expert question deflectors. They’ve called the Metro articles “fake news”. They’ve blamed the previous ED on why fundraising hadn’t been done in years, despite him being gone for almost 3 years. They have “no idea” why their own director of program operations had handed over documents to CDE. They’ve called him a traitor. They’ve refused to take any accountability for the agency closing. It’s always a pitty party on how hard they work. And not once have they verbally thanked the staff for their hardwork. To top it all off Ben calls himself the boss. Still CDE sits and waits and expects the honor system from these two when handing over payments of assets that are already being sold off. Does CDE care? It doesn’t seem to matter much to them anymore, but I have to wonder if it ever did.

  6. As a recipient, and disabled single mother of kindergarten twins that has been fighting and fighting over their”help” only to be left with a huge bill I cannot afford (which I never would’ve signed into had they not assured me otherwise), I agree. I’d rather be told ‘sorry, can’t help you,’ than ‘sure, we will help you’ (just to be left in debt I cannot afford!!

  7. As I understand now, Joseph Manarang recently returned to The Philippines, leaving this hot mess for others to clean up. Ben Menor needs to be held accountable for this as well, and this needs to happen now.

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