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Blog | | Early Edge California, Leading from Home

Early Edge Convenes Fifth Community of Practice of the California Leading From Home Program

In December, Early Edge California convened the fifth Community of Practice (CoP) of the California Leading from Home (LFH) Program, which seeks to support Family, Friend, and Neighbor (FFN) caregivers in developing their advocacy skills and help them establish grassroots support networks within their communities. These monthly CoP gatherings aim to foster mutual learning and collaboration, empowering these caregivers to elevate their voices and needs within their local communities and across the state. The purpose of LFH is to invest in and empower FFN caregivers, enabling them to inform policymakers about the importance of FFN child care and what is needed to support them in their caregiving. The cohort members also receive a monthly stipend for their participation and commitment to the program.

The fifth CoP meeting took place on December 6, 2023, and began with a dynamic activity focused on the importance of FFN child care for infants and toddlers. The activity and discussion explored the unique experiences and joys of providing child care for infants and toddlers compared to older children as well as the benefits FFN caregivers provide to children ages 0-3 years. Responses from caregivers highlighted the profound positive impact that FFN child care can provide during the crucial developmental stages of infancy and toddlerhood.

Caregivers had an opportunity to revisit the personal goals they each had initially established when first joining the program, and to reflect on how their goals have changed so far from what they have learned and shared so far. Many FFN caregivers shared that they have a growing interest in potentially becoming licensed and would like to learn more about the process and resources they can access to support pursuing licensure. The cohort also discussed how creating a “network” of fellow caregivers, parents, and allies could help them reach their personal and advocacy goals, and create access to resources for the FFN caregiver community. Ultimately, the fifth CoP session was an opportunity for FFN caregivers to deeply reflect on the benefits and impact FFN care provides to infants and toddlers, how they have progressed so far, and envision how they plan to apply this knowledge to achieve their goals by the end of the program. 

Early Edge is enthusiastic about the participation of ten passionate and seasoned FFN providers in our initiative, to gain profound insights into the unique needs and barriers faced by FFN providers and ultimately amplify their voices throughout California. For further details about this program, please visit the California Leading From Home webpage on the Early Edge website.

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