The inclusion of licensed family child care homes and informal home-based arrangements such as family, friend, and neighbor care in early care and education (ECE) research and policy discussions has waxed and waned over the past fifteen years. Center-based programs have received more research attention than home-based child care in recent years, with a shift towards policy initiatives such as Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) and universal pre-K programs. Attention has also been drawn to center-based programs due to the Race to the Top—Early Learning Challenge grants requiring states to conduct QRIS validation studies. Yet home-based providers are included in many state quality improvement efforts and are the targets of new recruitment efforts in state QRIS as these systems broaden their reach.
The purpose of the Home-Based Child Care Working Group is to learn more about the characteristics of home-based providers, the quality of care children receive in home-based settings, and the quality improvement strategies that are most effective with this diverse group of providers. The working group will include researchers engaged in research on home-based care as well as federal and state policymakers. The working group will build on the momentum of the release of data from the National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE); this data set offers unprecedented nationally representative data on home-based providers, including those who are listed in state licensing or registration records and those who are not included in any formal listing of providers.
For the purposes of this working group, the term "home-based providers" will include licensed family child care, unlicensed or license-exempt providers, and family, friends and neighbors.
The initial goal for the Home-Based Child Care Working Group will be to launch a community of learners and subsequently identify activities that will facilitate new discussion and/or guidance for the ECE field. Working group sessions may focus on methodological and research issues or support reflection on recent research articles. The first few group meetings will be used to determine relevant products and prioritize the different options. Products may include meeting presentations, webinars, and research/policy briefs. Once the proposed products have been approved by OPRE, authors will be selected from the working group. The working group leader and Child Trends staff will then assist in the development of products.
Amy Blasberg, Research Scientist
Holli Tonyan, Associate Professor