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Media Coverage | | The Hechinger Report

Many ‘informal’ child care providers are entitled to pay. Most don’t know it

Family members, friends and neighbors provide essential support to young children, but often go unrecognized

In this The Hechinger Report article, Contributing Editor Sarah Carr explores Early Edge’s recently-released policy brief, Increasing Access to Family, Friend, And Neighbor Caregiver Wages through California’s Child Care Subsidy System, speaking with our Executive Director Patricia Lozano and Family, Friend, and Neighbor (FFN) caregiver Jolene Hunt-Fleming, a member of our Leading from Home program, about the barriers FFNs face in receiving child care subsidies. 

“It’s important to acknowledge them and make them part of the system,” Lozano said. In California there’s a real need to raise the reimbursement rates for all types of child care providers, including informal ones, who currently receive 70 percent of what licensed family child care providers get, she added. “We can raise everybody,” she said. “The bar is so low right now.”


Hunt-Fleming spends whatever hours she can on advocacy work for her colleagues through a program called California Leading from Home. After more than a decade spending her days changing diapers, taking kids to doctor appointments and helping the older ones with homework, she wants others in her situation — and policy makers, too — to view the work as more than a gesture of love. She wants them to see it as a real job.

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