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National Resources on Family Child Care

Family child care (FCC) has many unique qualities that sets it apart from other early care and education settings. A FCC setting offers benefits to families including a neighborhood-based home environment, smaller numbers of children, mixed-age groups, teacher consistency, and greater flexibility. However, FCC providers may face challenges such as a sense of isolation, limited resources when working longer hours, no support staff, and less business expertise. Systems planners and policy makers strive to understand these issues as they develop supports to strengthen the success and stability of FCC providers. Many resources address health, safety, and quality improvement systems across all early childhood settings, including family child care (FCC). The following online resources and written products more specifically address FCC settings.

Online Resources

QRIS Resource Guide
The QRIS Resource Guide is intended as a tool for States and communities to explore key issues and decision points during the planning and implementation of a quality rating and improvement system (QRIS). Using the Search function allows users to identify topics of specific to FCC, e.g., participation, standards, use of assessment tools.

Provider Cost of Quality Calculator (PCQC)
This tool calculates the cost of care based on site-level provider data for family child care homes and centers. The tool can help state policymakers, child care providers, and other stakeholders understand the costs associated with delivering high-quality child care services. It can also demonstrate whether there is a gap between the cost of providing quality services and the revenue sources available to support a program.

National Program Standards Crosswalk Tool
This tool is designed to support the alignment of program standards for licensing, quality rating and improvement systems, and prekindergarten programs. It is prepopulated with national early childhood program standards that include accreditation standards for the National Association for Family Child Care, Caring for Our Children Basics, and Head Start.

Data Explorer & State Profiles
This database allows searches on various early care and education topics, including family child care demographic information, data on licensing requirements, program quality improvement activities, and professional development and workforce initiatives.

 

National Database of Child Care Licensing Regulations
This tool is used for finding and searching state and territory child care licensing regulations and agency contact information. It includes licensing regulations for child care centers and family child care homes.

Written Products on Licensed Family Child Care

Research Brief #2: Trends in Family Child Care Home Licensing Regulations and Policies for 2014
Using data compiled from state child care licensing regulations and the results of a survey of state licensing agencies administered by the National Association for Regulatory Administration, this brief examines the state of licensing family child care homes in 2014 and identifies trends that have become apparent during several years of data collection. The findings provide evidence that States are making positive changes in their licensing requirements and policies to protect the health and safety of children in out-of-home care.

Research Brief #3: Trends in Group Child Care Home Licensing Regulations and Policies for 2014
Using data compiled from state child care licensing regulations and the results of a survey of state licensing agencies administered by the National Association for Regulatory Administration, this brief examines the state of licensing group child care homes in 2014 and identifies trends that have become apparent during several years of data collection. The findings provide evidence that States are making positive changes in their licensing requirements and policies to protect the health and safety of children in out-of-home care.

State Policies that Support Business Practices of Child Care Providers
This brief provides an overview of strategies that States and Territories can employ to promote and strengthen business practices and leadership in early childhood settings. This resource, which draws on State examples, is divided into four key sections: Licensing; Quality Rating and Improvement Systems; Professional Development; and Resources. It includes examples of States that require preservice training in business administration as part of the qualifications for family and/or group child care home providers.

Early Care and Education Program Characteristics
The brief demonstrates how the Provider Cost of Quality Calculator can be used to understand the impact of program characteristics on the revenue and expenses of an early childhood center or family child care (FCC) home including participation in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), program size and ages of children accepted into care, enrollment efficiency, and bad debt or uncollected revenues.

Threshold of Licensed Family Child Care in 2014
Each State has a minimum number of children in care (i.e., threshold) that determines when a license is required. Most States set the licensing threshold at three or four children. This document provides information about the thresholds at which States require a license and indicates that 10 States require family child care (FCC) homes to be licensed if there is just one child in care that is not related to the provider. The remaining 41 States allow some number of children to be in FCC that is not covered by licensing.

Health and Safety Requirements: How Do You Maintain Compliance?
This presentation at the 2016 National Association for Family Child Care’s Family Child Care Institute included a dialogue about the various types of state, national, and federal standards that providers are required to meet. Presenters from the National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance and the National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness provided an overview of trends in licensing, subsidy, Head Start, and QRIS standards

Written Products on License-Exempt Family Child Care

Monitoring License-Exempt CCDF Homes
This issue brief explores decision points in developing a monitoring system, including requirements; inspections; and processes for responding to violations, complaints, referrals, and appeals. Caseloads, number of providers, and compensation and support systems for monitors and supervisors are discussed as factors that influence the cost of implementing a monitoring system. Four monitoring models are described and state examples are provided. It is one of a series of three issue briefs that offer insights into how States and Territories have improved their systems with new requirements, monitoring policies, and support systems for exempt providers.

Supporting License-Exempt Family Child Care
This issue brief aims to assist CCDF Administrators and their partners in their work to support license-exempt family child care (FCC) homes. In addressing the unique needs of exempt FCC homes, States and Territories can better support the children in their care and their families. This brief is organized into two sections: the first provides an overview of terminology, characteristics, parental preferences, and child care assistance data, and the second provides examples of several state and national initiatives to support exempt FCC. It is one of a series of three issue briefs that offer insights into how States and Territories have improved their systems with new requirements, monitoring policies, and support systems for exempt providers.

Monitoring and Supporting License-Exempt Care: Case Studies
This issue brief shares the experiences of six States (AR, AZ, IN, ND, NM, and UT) that have begun to address the challenges of monitoring exempt care. In addition to describing their structures, the issue brief highlights their differences in needs, cultural diversity and compliance levels, efforts to retain exempt home providers, lessons learned, and how they cultivated support for policy changes. Though the issue brief is primarily focused on exempt homes, information about how these States oversee exempt centers is also addressed. It is one of a series of three issue briefs that offer insights into how States and Territories have improved their systems with new requirements, monitoring policies, and support systems for exempt providers.

Monitoring and Supporting License-Exempt Child Care
This PowerPoint presentation includes an overview of licensing thresholds, common exemptions, national data on monitoring, cost of monitoring, and supports for exempt family child care, including training.

Bringing License-Exempt Family Child Care into the Quality Improvement System
This presentation by the National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance at the 2016 QRIS National Meeting, focused on strategies for including license-exempt family child care in the quality improvement system and an analysis of States’ existing support systems and opportunities for improvement.

Other Federal Resources

Child Care & Early Education Research Connections promotes high-quality research in child care and early education and the use of that research in policymaking.  This comprehensive list of research resources from 2010 through 2015 on quality improvement in home-based child care settings includes research related to license-exempt child care as well as licensed and regulated family child care.

Information about Early Head Start and Family Child Care Partnerships can be found at http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/ehs-ccp/family-child-care-partners.html, including resources about implementing Early Head Start in family child care, earning a family child care Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential™, and achieving National Association for Family Child Care Accreditation.

The Office of Child Care (OCC) website provides additional information about OCC’s support of family child care and a resource list at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/occ/family-child-care.