Multi-State Study of Family Child Care Decline and Supply
July, 2019-September, 2021
Co-PIs: Juliet Bromer, Erikson Institute; Toni Porter, Early Care & Education Consulting
Project Manager: Patricia Molloy
Erikson Research Team: Marina Ragonese-Barnes, Jennifer Baquedano, Lina Rinko
Consultants: Samantha Melvin, Teachers College, Columbia University
State partners: Susan Savage and Olivia Pillado, Child Care Resource Center (Los Angeles County, CA)
For more information, please contact: Juliet Bromer, [email protected]
Erikson Institute received a grant from the Foundation for Child Development to examine the reasons behind the decreasing numbers of licensed family child care programs (FCC) in the U.S and the factors that contribute to FCC engagement and retention in the early childhood workforce. The exploratory study seeks to understand why FCC educators enter the field, what keeps them engaged, and the reasons for departure from the profession. Study findings inform efforts to increase the numbers of high-quality FCC settings and integrate these professionals into the broader early care and education workforce and systems at all levels.
The project consisted of two primary components: a comprehensive literature review and a qualitative study of current and former FCC educators.
The literature review examined existing research on potential factors that shape job tenure including educator and program characteristics, systems participation, and parent perspectives on child care preference and choice.
The qualitative data study entailed focus groups and in-depth interviews with a diverse sample of FCC educators, including non-English speakers across California, Florida, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin, four geographic areas of the country where there has been a documented decrease in the numbers of FCC programs.
FAMILY CHILD CARE EDUCATORS’ PERSPECTIVES ON LEAVING, STAYING, AND ENTERING THE FIELD: FINDINGS FROM THE MULTI-STATE STUDY OF FAMILY CHILD CARE DECLINE AND SUPPLY
This report presents findings from the exploratory Multi-State Study of Family Child Care Decline and Supply. Findings from descriptive data showcase the experiences of educators at different phases of their careers in four states – California, Florida, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin. First, we explore the stories of former educators who made the decision to close the doors of their FCC businesses. Next, we learn from current educators about the aspects of their work that kept them engaged in the field. Third, we focus on early career educators’ experiences becoming regulated. Finally, we discuss how findings from this study may contribute to local, state, and federal policy decisions about how to expand the FCC workforce, better support current educators, and reverse the trajectory of declining supply.
FAMILY CHILD CARE EDUCATORS SPEAK OUT: A RESEARCH-TO-POLICY BRIEF FROM THE MULTI-STATE STUDY OF FAMILY CHILD CARE DECLINE AND SUPPLY
This brief highlights educator voices that contributed to the study’s recommendations for local, state, and federal policy decisions about how to expand the FCC workforce, better support current educators, and reverse the trajectory of declining supply.
THE SHIFTING SUPPLY OF REGULATED FAMILY CHILD CARE IN THE U.S.: A LITERATURE REVIEW AND CONCEPTUAL MODEL
The literature review, which is based on a review of 71 articles, advances the knowledge base about the inter-related factors that may contribute to the decreasing numbers of regulated family child care providers. It also presents a conceptual model to help guide future research. The conceptual model informed the Multi-State Study of Family Child Care Decline and Supply, which reports findings from 25 focus groups and 30 interviews with current and former providers about their experiences.
THE SHIFTING SUPPLY OF REGULATED FAMILY CHILD CARE IN THE U.S.: A RESEARCH-TO-POLICY BRIEF
The policy brief highlights recommendations suggested by a literature review and conceptual model on the factors behind the decrease of family child care in the U.S.
FAMILY CHILD CARE PROVIDERS: UNSUNG HEROES IN THE COVID-19 CRISIS
Focus groups for the study were underway in March when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The research team became concerned about the impact that the crisis would have on the long-term operations and sustainability of family child care providers, and added questions about these changes to the focus group protocol. Recommendations in this brief are based on findings from 22 of the focus groups. The brief provides policy guidance on how to support the family child care workforce that is so central to family employment and the economy as the country grapples with the ongoing effects of the pandemic.