One of the greatest opportunities to strengthen New York’s early childhood workforce is building the quality of practice in family child care programs. The New School’s Center for New York City Affairs recently released its full report analyzing the progress and challenges of the city’s contracted, EarlyLearn Family Childcare programs. The report, Bringing It All Home: Problems and Possibilities Facing New York City’s Family Child Care, provides a blueprint for building on lessons learned from New York City’s EarlyLearn initiative over the last four years with subsidized family child care programs.
The report identifies two of primary areas for development:
- leveraging the unique strengths of family child care programs, including culturally-responsive, relationship-based practice, and
- providing clear expectations and additional training to the network support staff who coach and monitor family child care providers.
The New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute’s own experience in the informal family child care field as well as with teacher coaching, and the relevant policy research, support the report’s emphasis on strengths-based practice and the power of trusted coaching relationships to create lasting change. Well-organized and resourced family child care networks reduce isolation and create opportunities for providers to access professional development. Ensuring that this professional development is of high quality and responsive to the needs of providers along with site-based coaching will elevate the field of family child care and raise outcomes for thousands of infants, toddlers and young children.