Have you heard anything about this Child Care Supply Improvement Act?
Many providers have not, yet it’s about family child care and supporting those that provide this service that is so important for families across the country.
For FCCAM in our support of family child care providers in Maine, this is an example of the importance of our Association being a state affiliate of NAFCC. Being engaged in the monthly state leadership calls we have the opportunity to not only learn what is happening in other states, but together can provide information for national events.
The good news is that some elected officials are beginning to listen to providers and actually seek us out on local, state and national levels.
Here’s news on a national action that could have really positive impact for family child care providers, their programs and services for families.
In August and September, the National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) worked with the staff of U.S. Senator Tina Smith on legislation to build the supply of child care.
The Child Care Supply Improvement Act was introduced in late September. It includes concrete, here-and-now things that would matter, and with a very specific focus on the needs of family child care providers and home settings. It includes things like:
- loans for home improvement projects to meet health and safety standards or to make a program more accessible for children with disabilities, and loan forgiveness tied to achieving accreditation
- opportunities for states to better coordinate their requirements, paperwork, and monitoring, so that they’re on the same team and supporting you
- opportunities for recruiting new family child care providers and supporting current providers, including start-up steps, quality improvement that recognizes family child care’s strengths and professional development that is meaningful to you.
To improve access to high quality child care, it is crucial to invest in the programs and people who care for children. The Senator listened to providers at home in Minnesota and wanted to be sure she was listening to providers in the drafting of a bill. Her staff contacted us for that. NAFCC was able to help her because of our teamwork as a state association and because of you and family child care providers across the country.
Every story we share, every question we ask, and every question that is asked of us as family child care providers that we answer, every moment we spend as advocates for family child care, the children in care and the families served can really turn into something.
From local to state to national associations, working together, we are succeeding in promoting the importance of family child care within the child care structure.
About family child care
Family child care is the preferred arrangement of many families, and a necessity across the country as well. Family child care is uniquely well-positioned to meet the needs of families often challenged to identify reliable child care options. This includes families with infants and toddlers, families needing care during non-traditional hours, military families, communities of color and immigrant families, families of children with special needs, and families in rural communities. Family child care is the business of child care and the practice of early care and education in the program provider’s home. The National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE) identified one million paid providers caring for children in a 2 home, caring for three million children from birth to age five in these settings. Professional family child care is one part of the much larger community of home-based child care arrangements that families count on. NSECE identified about 118,000 listed, paid providers caring for over 750,000 children ages birth through age five.