A new brief from the Center for New York City Affairs at the New School discusses how growing interest in early education has led to more infant classrooms in child care centers; however, the majority of these centers serve wealthy families. Child care centers for low income families have been losing capacity to take in infants and young toddlers largely due to cost; they are the most expensive age groups to serve in centers. This has resulted in limited child care options for low income families causing the majority of them to choose home-based family child care. According to the brief, nationwide studies have found that, on average, family child care is lower quality than center-based care.
The New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute believes in access to excellence for all of New York’s young children, starting at birth, and this report points out some of the challenges that low income families with infants face in trying to get access to high quality care for their children. The Institute developed the Informal Family Child Care Project (IFCC) to assess and address the needs of informal child care providers who receive subsidies from the New York Administration for Children’s Services to provide care. The mission of IFCC is to elevate the quality of care for children in home-based family child care settings in New York City. IFCC offers a wide range of programs and services, including training, technical assistance, home visits, and access to materials and resources that support best practices for family and children. Each of these efforts help to ensure that the children in these child care settings have access to the foundational learning experiences they need to thrive and be successful.