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Supporting Home-Based Child Care Options: Leaders Share Solutions

April 14, 2021

Featured Staff

  • Danielle Fuentes Johnson Learning Community Technical Specialist and HBCC Co-Lead at the BUILD Initiative
  • Jeanna Capito HBCC Co-Lead as a BUILD Consultant

Home-based child care – family child care (FCC) and family, friend, and neighbor care (FFN) – is well-positioned to meet the needs of the families that face the greatest barriers to accessing care, including families of color, with infants and toddlers, who work nontraditional hours, and who seek services respectful of their culture and language. Yet, too often, home-based child care is not included in state child care investments. In addition, the number of family child care programs has declined at an alarming rate over the last several years for a variety of reasons, including the lack of access to some of the quality supports and funding offered to centers, an aging provider population, an increase in regulations and requirements for providers that are ill-suited for home-based providers since they were developed from a center-based care perspective, and the small numbers of new and younger providers entering this field. The majority of home-based providers are women of color and the families that choose this type of care are disproportionately Black, Indigenous, dual language, refugee, and immigrant communities. Building the supply of and supports for home-based child care is a racial equity issue.

BUILD’s Home-based Child Care Webinar Series
In June 2020, BUILD launched a webinar series based on its core beliefs about home-based child care:

  • FFC and FFN care settings, whether licensed or license-exempt, are part of the fabric of the early care and education mixed delivery system.
  • Strategies for working with providers in these family care settings should be responsive to the providers’ needs, linguistically and culturally respectful, relationship based, and intentional in their development, i.e., reflect these settings’ unique modality of care and honor the providers as leaders in the field.
  • Strategies and the system components supporting home-based child care settings should be resourced on par with center- and school-based settings.
  • Federal initiatives and private philanthropic opportunities should be consistently leveraged to support home-based child care providers and the families who use this form of care while also maintaining our focus on best practices.

Each session provides a conversation led by a speaker who opens the floor multiple times with polls and thought-provoking questions. Topics are co-created with participants based on interest and feedback. Issues covered in the webinar series to date include:

  • Understanding home-based child care/FCC
  • Supporting home-based child care through Systemic Infrastructure
  • Delivering Relationship-based Supports
  • Supporting home-based child care through Comprehensive Services
  • States Looking Ahead: Role of State Infrastructure for home-based child care
  • Home-Based Child Care Networks: Supporting Family, Friend, and Neighbor Providers
  • Shared Service Supports for home-based child care
  • Supporting home-based child care as Small Businesses

This national webinar series is open to all. Please register here if you are interested to ensure you receive announcements for sessions.

A New Community of Practice: How States and Communities will Benefit
To assist stakeholders in states and communities in addressing and supporting the challenges and wide range of needs of home-based child care, the BUILD Initiative launched a Community of Practice (CoP) in December 2020. Also based on BUILD’s core beliefs, the CoP is made up of leaders primarily working at the state, regional, or community level, with teams built from invited states, communities, tribes, and territories. It meets monthly, has access to a dedicated online discussion and learning platform, and has individualized technical assistance calls as needed. The April CoP will be dedicated to how home-based child care can benefit from the new federal relief dollars for child care.

The 12 participating states/communities:

  • Receive support to identify needs, assessment of readiness, and tools to support work on action steps through a systems-change approach.
  • Assess current approaches to contracts and state preschool funding related to family child care providers.
    Receive guided technical assistance to engage in analysis and decision-making processes that will lead them to the right structure for their context and needs.
  • Explore policies to better support home-based care providers and family access to high-quality home-based care.
  • Establish a community of peers, to assist and support one another, regardless of where the state is in the development of HBCC supports.
    While this CoP is not accepting new participants, other opportunities will be made available in the future.

Please Join Us in the Conversation
A multi-faceted FCC approach, based in systems change, is needed to address how states are implementing and resourcing a mixed delivery system with family child care as a core partner. The BUILD systems approach to home-based child care includes partnering with stakeholders on strategies that will increase supply while also addressing the need for quality supports that are not tailored to home-based settings and have the appropriate depth and longevity to facilitate change. BUILD also links states/communities to organizations offering strategic approaches to fit their needs. Join our home-based child care webinar series and work toward ensuring we address the significant racial equity challenges related to supply, supports, visibility, and funding.

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