Early Edge California is pleased to present a new video series that introduces viewers to Family, Friend, and Neighbor (FFN) child care providers and their work in caring for our youngest Californians. In this series, we interview providers and the organizations, agencies, and school districts across the state that support these caregivers.
Who are FFN providers?
FFN providers are home-based caregivers working outside of the formal child care system. They are unlicensed or license-exempt and provide care to the children of a family member, friend, and/or neighbor.
FFN care is a common form of child care in the U.S. and is the leading source of care for infants and toddlers nationwide. Many FFN caregivers provide care free of charge, and some are paid privately or through public subsidies.
The Benefits of FFN Care
FFN providers are typically known by the family that needs care, which builds in a level of trust that is especially important for families seeking infant and toddler care. There is also the possibility that FFN providers can care for a child in a way that aligns with the family’s culture and language. In addition, these caregivers are often available for non-traditional hours of care, including overnight support. They became more important than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic, when more formal child care settings closed or limited enrollment to essential workers.
“FFN providers are one of the first teachers that our kids will get. So, we need to include them, we need to provide resources, and we need to support them so they can really have the tools to provide care for our kids,” shares Patricia Lozano, Executive Director of Early Edge California.
Get to know California’s FFN providers! Watch our new series to hear about their experiences and their unique contributions to the child care field. Learn about some of the supports currently available to them and why more supports like these are needed.
The Value of California’s Family, Friend, and Neighbor Child Care Providers
Meet FFN providers, and learn about their work firsthand and from the organizations and school districts that support them.
“We don’t have a license. We don’t have a center. But we do provide our home. We provide our food. We provide everything we possibly can to help.” — Mitzi Cortez, FFN Provider
“For me, I feel more responsibility than my own children, because they are someone else’s children who are in your care.” — Esperanza Romero, FFN Provider
Support Models in Family, Friend, and Neighbor Child Care
Learn about some of the current support programs for FFN providers created by organizations and school districts in California working directly with these caregivers. Hear from staff at BANANAS, Community Resources for Children (CRC) Napa, Visión y Compromiso, and Fresno USD’s Helm Home about their trainings, support groups, activities for providers to do with the children in their care, resource sharing, and the other ways these models of support help to create a community for FFN caregivers.
“The emotional support that they are providing us right now, but also what I like very much is the material support. They help us to work with the children.” — Gloria González, FFN provider
“They told me, ‘Hey, did you know this program gives you a stipend? Did you know that this program helps you get your certificate? Or just some type of education to take care of a kid—how to help a kid.” — Mitzi Cortez, FFN provider
“In the first Visión y Compromiso workshop for caregivers, for me it was like a before and after. It really makes you so aware of the importance of the caregiver, that sometimes, as a caregiver, you don’t value yourself. We need this.” — Esperanza Romero, FFN provider
Read more about the experiences of FFN providers interviewed last summer during the pandemic as part of our In Their Own Words series. Learn about the efforts of Spanish-speaking immigrant FFN providers to serve their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic in this recent article from NBC News/NBC Latino, written in partnership with The Fuller Project.”
- Health, Information, Security, And Community: What Family, Friend, And Neighbor Providers Need During Covid-19
- Home-Based Child Care Information and Policy Recommendations from Home Grown
- Sustaining Family, Friend, and Neighbor Child Care During and After COVID-19: Survey Findings from The National Women’s Law Center
- Family, Friend, and Neighbor (FFN) Resources