In early June, Early Edge held virtual meetings in English and Spanish with members of our Advisory Groups for Parents and for Family, Friend, and Neighbor (FFN) providers. Early Edge conducts periodic meetings with stakeholders in order to hear their opinions, comments, and feedback on proposed policies and programs.
Early Edge staff convened the Parent and FFN Advisory Groups to support the development of recommendations made by our FFN Workgroup, which is comprised of representatives from agencies that serve FFN providers and seeks to develop recommendations for how to best support FFN providers.
Early Edge asked parents and FFN providers to share what qualities are most important to them in an FFN provider and what they most want their children to get out of FFN care. Both groups shared that the greatest benefits of FFN care are: trust in the provider, who is often a family member; similar cultural and linguistic values; and, knowing that the caregiver will have the same parenting philosophy and values as the parent.
Both groups discussed the resources that would be helpful to FFN providers. There was substantial agreement among both parents and FFNs; both groups shared that training and resources on child development and behavior management would be helpful and that community resources, such as parks and libraries, are very important for both children and their caregivers. These resources provide safe locations for children to play and learn while also providing an opportunity to alleviate the isolation that both parents and FFNs can feel while caring for small children.
In addition to the broader discussion, the FFN Advisory Group reviewed draft recommendations on training for FFNs and provided their feedback. Early Edge will incorporate this feedback as we work to develop policy recommendations to support FFN providers.