The decision to leave one’s child in the care of another adult is one of the most challenging and deeply personal actions a family may have to make in the early years.
In 2021, there were over 11 million infants and toddlers in the United States—equaling 3.5% of the country’s population. Almost 63% of these children had mothers who were active in the workforce. (Keating, 2021). For many young families in the United States, there are very few authentic child care options that meet child and family needs, are affordable and are local.
Approximately half of families who want to access child care find it excessively difficult or impossible to secure licensed child care (Schochet, 2019). Access to high-quality infant-toddler child care is out of reach for the 40% of babies born to households with low-income (Keating, 2021), a disproportionate number of whom are babies of color (Pizarek, 2021).
In Colorado, the nonprofit Early Milestones Colorado recently engaged in a project to better understand the unique experiences of FFN providers in the state, as well as how early childhood systems can engage and support them. The report released in August 2022 summarizes what was learned through interviews with 20 FFN providers and 20 support organizations and offers recommendations for strengthening systems that promote equitable outcomes for providers and families they serve To read more about state strategies to strengthen home based child care read here.