National Study of Family Child Care Networks
Juliet Bromer, Principal Investigator, Herr Research Center, Erikson Institute
Toni Porter, Principal Investigator, Early Care and Education Consulting
Jon Korfmacher, Expert Faculty Advisor, Herr Research Center, Erikson Institute
Marina Ragonese-Barnes, Research Analyst, Herr Research Center, Erikson Institute
Patricia Molloy, Project Manager, Herr Research Center
Home-based child care, including regulated family child care providers and license-exempt family, friend, and neighbor caregivers, accounts for the largest sector of the early care and education workforce (NSECE, 2014). More young children are cared for in these settings in the U.S. than in center-based child care. Despite the prevalence of home-based child care, a relatively small research base exists on strategies that support and help providers improve their caregiving practices. Staffed family child care networks are one promising strategy that has gained growing attention as the federal Office of Child Care seeks to promote strategies that aim to increase the supply and quality of child care for infants and toddlers. Yet little is known about the types of staffed family child care networks that exist across the country.
Erikson Institute’s National Study of Family Child Care Networks aimed to address the gap in the knowledge base about staffed family child care networks. Launched in 2017, with support from the Pritzker Children’s Initiative, a project of the J.B. and M.K. Pritzker Foundation, and the W. Clement and Jessie V. Stone Foundation, the project intended to inform policy and programs about network models that support home-based child care providers. The multi-phase exploratory study consisted of four primary components: 1) a national survey of staffed family child care networks; 2) in-depth interviews with a sub-sample of network directors about services implementation; 3) development of an assessment tool to examine network staff-provider relationships; and 4) in-depth case studies of two promising networks.
Our first report presents findings from national survey data as well as examples of network services and strategies from qualitative interviews with network directors. Read more here:
Our second report presents findings from in-depth interviews with 47 directors of networks and other support organizations about how services meet the needs and challenges of home-based child care providers. Read more here:
Our third and final report presents findings from in-depth case studies of two family child care networks. Findings are based on surveys and interviews with family child care educators and staff that sought to better understand how networks approach and deliver services as well as the relationships between educators and staff that may influence the effectiveness of service delivery. It also includes observations of caregiver-child interactions and child care environments to examine possible associations with network characteristics and quality. Read more here: