Update on the work the FCCAM’s Board:
A major part of our work has been about having conversations and developing relationships that allow other organizations to become aware of the importance of family child care providers within the child care structure of Maine. To raise community awareness around our profession.
We are not babysitters, but early childhood educators who run successful businesses important to our communities. Our job of nurturing and educating young children needs to be respected and we deserve input into issues that impact our work. Family child care providers are important to the families of Maine.
Currently, even with the over 800 licensed family child care programs in Maine, legal exempt program (2 children or less) and small facilities there are not enough care slots to fill the need. Sadly, like most states Maine is seeing a decline in numbers of fcc programs. We need to work together to find ways to change this. It starts with supporting each other and expands to encouraging new providers.
2 years finds FCCAM:
Participating in a national pilot on Strengthening Family Child Care, as members of one of the 8 teams in the pilot. Maine’s team is working on ways to gather together agencies/organization across Maine to combine efforts to provide trainings and resources all in one place. This would ultimately support all those working in child care, but the initial drive would be focused on family child care.
The Family Child Care Association of Maine’s website is one place to easily access many quality resources. This site is open to all providers, not just FCCAM members. In continuing to build this resource we understand the importance of being responsive to input from current providers and those considering the profession. We also have an open Facebook page, Pinterest Boards, and a closed Facebook group for FCCAM members for supportive discussions.
First Statewide Monthly Online Networking opportunity just for family child care providers – MRTQ PDN Statewide FCC Community of Practice.
The idea for this opportunity started in FCCAM’s PLC while discussing training barriers and options for fcc. More and more providers have access to today’s technology and we felt online would breach some of the barriers providers find with training. Working from MRTQ PDN’s Communities of Practice (COP) made sense. The FCC COP has now met 3 months covering topics like Emergency Preparedness, and Grief support for children and families. Our next COP call will be on gunplay. You do not need to be on the registry of MRTQ to participate.
Developing relationships with technology high schools and community colleges with ECE programs. Presenting in class on family child care, working to get more emphasis on family child care throughout course content.
State affiliate for NAFCC (National Association for Family Child Care). While FCCAM and NAFCC are separate (stand alone) organizations, we felt it was important to have a connection to the only national professional association that is focused on issues around family child care. Our affiliation allows us to participate in monthly state leadership calls which are important to remain aware of national trends, concerns and solutions. It also allows us to market the strength of family child care in Maine to other state leaders. Individual provider Accreditation is separate from FCCAM and our state affiliation with NAFCC. (MRTQ PDN handles Accreditation)
Working partnership with MaineAEYC (state affiliate for NAEYC). This partnership has allowed us to engage in public policy work lending the voice of family child care to immediate issues within Maine.
We have also worked hard to bring the family child care voice to MaineAEYC’s annual conferences. FCCAM’s Professional Learning Committee’s has worked in support of these conferences providing discounts for our members.
These are some of the bigger items, but the Board is continually engaging with a variety of organizations with an interest in child care, whether it’s one time to pass along information or multiple calls to provide answers to specific questions.