Haga clic aquí para ver esta página en español.

The California Leading from Home program launched in September 2023 and has been having monthly Community of Practice (CoP) meetings. Click below to see the CoP recaps and meet the 2023-24 cohort.

Meet the 2023-24 Cohort 

Seeking Provider Leaders

Early Edge California is seeking Family, Friend, and Neighbor (FFN) providers and caregivers to participate in our California Leading from Home initiative. FFN caregivers are home-based caregivers working outside of the formal childcare system. Caregivers include grandparents, aunts and uncles, elders, older siblings, friends, neighbors, babysitters, nannies, and others who provide informal childcare, who are license-exempt.

If you are a FFN caregiver who leads a community of providers and parents, and are passionate about creating change in the child care sector, we invite you to learn more about this opportunity. Applications are now closed.

Apply here (application is now closed)

Are you a provider leader?

If you answer yes to at least one statement in each section, we want to hear from you! Please review the bullets to see all that apply.

Provider/ Caregiver (Required)

  •  I regularly care for one or more children (who are not my own) in my home or in the family’s home. 
  •  I am an auntie, grandma, neighbor caring for a child, for even a few hours a day.
  •  I currently run a license-exempt family child care business from my home.

Leadership (Required)

  •  I am the go-to person for helping providers/caregivers in my community.
  •  I spend time supporting providers/caregivers in my community.
  •  I meet or connect regularly with other caregivers.
  •  I am committed to advocacy and improving policy that affects providers/caregivers and their families
  •  I am a changemaker and committed to creating positive change with fellow providers/caregivers and parents.
  •  I regularly convene a network or community of fellow providers/caregivers seeking change.

The Challenge

Family, Friend, and Neighbor child care is often under-resourced, under-appreciated, and even invisible. Current systems do not include the voices of caregivers and parents in making key decisions for this sector. The California Leading from Home initiative seeks to invest in and strengthen providers and families to inform policy decisions and actions. We seek to build and support community leaders and their goals to influence policy and systems.

Provider leaders in California Leading from Home might work toward one of more of following goals:

  • I want to connect with my local and state representatives to improve their support of home-based providers
  • I want community resources to better meet the needs of home-based providers
  • I want family, friend, and neighbor caregivers to be included in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) in my state
  • I want family, friend, and neighbor caregivers to be able to access child care subsidies or vouchers in my state
  • I want my state to use a cost of care model to set (and increase) child care subsidy rates for home-based providers
  • I want equal language access for materials and resources for home-based providers and families (e.g., I want the language that I speak to be included in materials and resources for home-based providers and families)

The California Leading from Home initiative exists to support FFN caregivers and families as they work to make positive change.

Program Overview

Early Edge California’s replication of Home Grown’s Leading from Home Program is creating a leadership network of FFN caregivers in communities across California. These provider-led informal groups will engage in four primary activities:

Primary activities:

  • Convene meetings and engage local providers/caregivers and parents to identify their needs and articulate their goals
  • Identify specific supports each community needs to advance their goals
  • Train and prepare participants to engage in policy actions
  • Build a membership list to expand the provider/caregiver network

Early Edge will provide:

  • Monthly stipends for provider/caregiver leaders
  • Additional funding to support network activities, such as technology, meeting expenses, transportation, etc.
  • Free technical assistance to meet provider and caregiver needs around policy strategy, strategic communications, and engagement supports.
  • Monthly convenings for the community of provider leaders

Eligibility Criteria

Individuals are encouraged to apply. 501(c)(3) status is not required.

Priority will go to leaders who meet the criteria below and also:

  • Have clear goals for their provider/caregiver network, particularly in the realms of policy, strategic communications, and engagement.
  • Include parents as partners in your network convenings.

Criteria: We are looking for applicants who:

  • Are existing FFN child providers or caregivers. 
  • Lead or co-lead a network of home-based child care providers or caregivers. This can be a formal network or informal group of providers/caregivers that you regularly communicate and meet with.

Commit to:

  • Convening your provider/caregiver network monthly or more frequently. This may take place in-person or virtually and follow established protocols.
  • Growing your network and encouraging additional home-based child care providers or caregivers to join your meetings and efforts.
  • Identifying your community’s needs and desired supports to help you to take action.
  • Collaborating with technical assistance partners around the needs identified by your community to develop strategies for change.
  • Engaging your network in opportunities identified by peer communities. This might include events, surveys, discussions and other engagement opportunities.
  • Collaborating with Early Edge, including:
    • Sharing of information about members (with their consent)
    • Advising on Early Edge initiatives
    • Participating in a statewide Community of Practice of provider/caregiver leaders to be convened by Early Edge and its partners

Learn More and Application Support

Early Edge is here to answer your questions and support your application. Connect with us via:

Informational Session & Office Hours

Click here to watch the informational session recording and join the English office hours on Wednesday, May 10th from 4-4:50 pm (PT).



If you have any additional questions, please contact Kelly Reynolds at [email protected].



Language Preferences

Early Edge is gathering information about language preferences to help us better accommodate providers in the future. If you would like this content in another language, please contact us.


What is the stipend amount?

Provider/caregiver leaders will receive $1,000 monthly stipends for up to 12 months, plus funding for additional expenses related to network activities and engagement (e.g., technology, meeting expenses, transportation).

What can the funds be used for?

These funds are intended to support you as you grow and empower your network of providers or caregivers to make positive change for FFN child care. The $1,000 monthly stipend is compensation for you, the provider/caregiver network leader. 

Additional funding is available to support network activities, which may include but are not limited to:

  • Engagement barriers (transportation, virtual meeting platforms)
  • Costs associated with in-person gatherings when safe to do so (e.g., space rental, food)
  • Mailings and postage

Early Edge will make additional supports available to you to assist with planning and the implementation of your plans including: logistical/administrative supports and problem solving; strategic and planning supports; communications resources. We will work with you to fund trusted technical assistance partners or to identify mission-aligned vendors and partners.

When is the deadline to apply?

Please submit your application by Wednesday, May 31st.

Who makes the decisions and selects participants?

Early Edge staff, funders, and provider advisors will review applications and conduct interviews and select a diverse group of provider leaders.

When will we hear back after submitting an application?

We will contact finalists for interviews in early June. We plan to announce participant selections by July 2023.

Where is the money coming from?

The project is made possible through the generous funding of Practitioners’ Voice CA (PVCA), a new grantmaking effort seeking to center the expertise of Early Learning practitioners in the policy process in California, and Home Grown, a national collaborative of funders committed to improving the quality of and access to home-based child care.

Note: Provider/caregiver leaders who receive funding will need to report the stipend funds as income. Early Edge will connect selected leaders with consultants to support you with this.

Is there a required number of children that must be in my care in order to apply?

Priority will be given to current home-based child providers serving one or more children.