Connecticut Uses Strategic Investments to Boost Family Child Care
We were very pleased to see our state and very own Office of Early Childhood highlighted in this week’s newsletter of The Baby Monitor, Zero to Three, Policy and Advocacy News (November 18, 2021), and thought others would be interested in reading it as well. Enjoy!
The Connecticut Office of Early Childhood (OEC) has implemented and expanded staffed family child care networks (FCCNs) statewide since 2020. The initial 2018 pilot, funded by OEC, was comprised of five networks and was expanded to 12 due to strategic investment of philanthropic funding during the pandemic. The expanded network covers the entire state. A 2021 proposal established a central hub funded via the federal Child Care Development Fund.
The FCCNs provide a wide array of Network services, including connecting providers to free OEC resources such as:
- coaching and consultation, including access to behavioral health experts and nurse consultants;
- regularly scheduled professional development; and
- group buying power via shared service agreements.
Providers can also access financial supports through a partnership between OEC and the Women’s Business Development Council. This funding helps providers cover costs related to start-up, expansion, and/or quality improvements.
Finally, when state child care capacity became a concern during the pandemic, a targeted push to move potential providers
The state’s recipe for ensuring that family child care providers are receiving individualized supports at every stage of their careers is helping to stabilize the field and meet the needs of children and families in Connecticut. To read about more strategies for expanding and strengthening family child care, read the new ZERO TO THREE brief Places for All Babies: Home-Based Child Care is an Essential Part of the Solution.