Los Angeles, CA – Early Edge California is joining organizations across the country in observing National Family, Friend, and Neighbor (FFN) Appreciation Week, September 10-14, to celebrate and lift up the essential work that millions of FFN child care providers do.
Over 5 million caregivers in the US look after 11.5 million children including 6.8 million children ages 0-5 (NSECE, 2019). Family, Friend, and Neighbor Caregivers Appreciation Week, started by national organization Home Grown, is celebrated the week after National Grandparents’ Day to recognize the millions of grandparents, as well as the aunts, neighbors, community members, and other FFN caregivers who support our communities and care for young children all over the country. This week is an opportunity to raise awareness and gratitude for the hidden workforce that often cares for our youngest children with little to no pay or benefits. FFN caregivers represent the largest percentage of the early childhood workforce in the country and deserve to be recognized.
“Many children in California and across the country receive their first learning experiences from FFN providers. These caregivers go above and beyond to provide individualized care that supports young learners and working families. We need to celebrate them this week and throughout the year, provide them with resources and supports so they can provide the best care for our kids,” said Patricia Lozano, Executive Director of Early Edge California.
Early Edge has been working to strengthen supports for FFN providers by listening to and learning directly from caregivers across California to help inform policy solutions that better support these individuals in caring for children. Our policy brief on FFNs in California, written in partnership with other organizations supporting these providers, uplifts FFNs’ needs and the challenges they face, and proposes policy measures informed by provider feedback.
Family, Friend, and Neighbor Caregivers Appreciation Week was started as a way to bring national awareness to a workforce that provides essential support to children, families, and communities, but is often overlooked. This week of awareness aims to shed light on the tremendous impact FFN caregivers have on our communities and families.
Learn more about FFN Appreciation Week and how you can join in the virtual celebration on social media using #FFNCareIsAlwaysThere.
# # #
Early Edge California is a nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to improving access to high-quality Early Learning experiences for all California children so they can have a strong foundation for future success.