Early Edge California hosted the first meeting of its new Advisory Group for Family, Friend, and Neighbor (FFN) Providers in early November. FFN providers are unlicensed or license-exempt caregivers who provide care for the children of friends or relatives. Some receive subsidies through government programs, but most are unpaid or paid by the families of the children who receive their care.
In our initial meeting, FFNs from across California shared their opinion on what they think is the greatest benefit they bring to children, what their greatest challenges are, and if they would like to receive training or pursue licensure to become family child care providers.
Some of the main takeaways from the meeting were:
- All participants reported that the most valuable thing they provide is the love they give to children and the sense of security they provide to families.
- The greatest challenge they face is high housing costs and the lack of financial support for families.
- Participants indicated that families are unable to pay for child care due to high costs for other necessities and that higher wages and better economic support are needed.
- Sixty percent of participants stated that they would like to be a licensed family child care provider, but all said they do not have the space in their home to make that possible.
- All would be interested in receiving more training on a variety of topics.
We will host the next FFN Advisory Group meeting in early 2021 in order to hear the providers’ perspectives and feedback on legislative and policy proposals for the upcoming year. If you are interested in joining the FFN Advisory Group or would like to know more, please contact us at [email protected].
Learn more about FFN providers and their experiences during the COVID-19 health crisis by reading a recent blog from our interview series, In Their Own Words, and by viewing our October 2020 brief, Health, Information, Security, And Community: What Family, Friend, And Neighbor Providers Need During Covid-19.