Family child care networks with paid staff have an impact on improving the quality of care, according to an Erickson Institute study. The most promising practices associated with improving the quality are:
* The coordinator's prior experience with children
* Use of formal quality assessment tools
* High-frequency visits (10 times in 6 months) to family child care homes focused on working with children
* Onsite training at the network for providers
These results are contained in a new report, "Staffed Family Child Care Networks: A Strategy to Enhance quality Care for Infants and Toddlers" published by the ZERO TO THREE Policy Center. You may request printed copies at firstname.lastname@example.org with the quantity and purpose for which they will be used.
Staffed family child care networks are programs that have at least one paid staff person who provides ongoing oversight and support to family child care providers in the network. There are currently 22 states that have at least one such network. Networks are different than family child care associations that tend to focus on professional advocacy and peer support.
The report highlights several networks in Connecticut (All Our Kin), Virginia (Infant Toddler Family Day Care), Wisconsin (Satellite Family Child Care), and Kentucky (Children,Inc.).
The report includes policy recommendations for those interested in starting networks in their area.
Are you a part of a family child care network? If so, what are the benefits for you and the children in your care?