The Master Plan for Early Learning and Care (MPELC) recognizes the critical role that Family, Friend, and Neighbor (FFN) providers play in California’s Early Learning and Care system. The following recommendations directly impact FFN providers.
- The MPELC envisions a role for FFN providers as primary child care providers for a significant portion of infants and toddlers, as well as providing extended hour and overnight care for older children. FFNs will also continue to be a dominant form of care in areas with limited formal child care options.
Improve FFN Training
- Revise requirements for Health and Safety and basic child development knowledge for FFNs to align with new Educator Competencies. These requirements would allow exemptions for emergency care, short-term care, and kinship care.
- The state must work towards having accessible and low-cost professional learning options for the full-range of workforce members, including FFNs.
- The state should provide support that facilitates access to training and credit-bearing classes for English language learners, such as translators, linked classes, curricula, texts in languages other than English, and other multilingual educational and career support, including tutoring and homework assistance.
- The state should provide supports designed to meet the unique needs of FFN providers, such as those offered in partnership with the state library system.
Improve Caregiver Wages
- FFNs, like other educators, would be able to demonstrate greater competency through training, education or alternative means. Those demonstrating higher competency would be eligible for an enhancement to their reimbursement rate. There would also be a reimbursement adjustment for “child characteristics” including that the child is a DLL or the child is an infant/toddler, two groups that are disproportionately served by FFNs.
- At full implementation, the MPELC proposes that a FFN caregiver providing care for three children would receive a wage of $15/hour – comparable to an assistant in a child care center. FFNs who pursued greater competencies would be eligible for wage increases of $0.50/hour for each new level of competency achieved, for a final possible wage of $17/hour.
Support Workforce Effectiveness
- Design and implement a monitoring system for FFNs that meets California’s needs and is responsive to the state’s FFN caregivers.
Redesign Quality Improvement Infrastructure
- Convene stakeholders, including FFNs, to understand sector needs and experience with Quality Counts California (QCC) as it is currently structured and administered.
- Complete an equity audit of QCC to inform a redesign of the Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS) indicators and QCC program design.
- The audit should include consideration of current research regarding child development and learning, supporting the workforce, and engaging families.
- Specific criteria to be developed should consider—at a minimum—race/ethnicity, language of participants, and provider type and location so that resources can be directed to providers serving the highest-impact populations.
For more information about the Master Plan’s key recommendations, click here.