Quality in Family Child Care

You are here

The experiences of early childhood lay the foundation for a lifetime of development. Few settings offer greater opportunity for improving our nation’s health than the child care environment. Non-parental child care settings — where many young children spend a good portion of their childhood — provide a unique forum for shaping those experiences. Although child care provided in the home of the provider (“family child care”) is just one just one child care setting within the larger early care and education landscape, it is a vitally important one for addressing issues of equity and health equity in the lives of millions of children.

The Public Health Law Center recently completed a project seeking to understand how quality is defined, assessed, and measured in family child care settings through policy. Quality measures are applied to family child care settings through a variety of policy mechanisms including licensing, funding streams, and voluntary quality programs. We found that the many ways that family child care settings are diverse create both challenges and opportunities for defining and implementing quality in these settings.

 

Cultural Competency

Examining Licensing for Cultural Competency (2017)

Although many states address issues relating to culture and language in their child care licensing standards in some way, few states are doing it comprehensively. This resource highlights how existing family child care licensing provisions are addressing (or not addressing) cultural competency. The examples discussed should not be viewed as best practices; they were selected to illustrate current practices, and to provide a starting point for a deeper discussion. Whether or not licensing is an efficient and effective strategy to achieve these goals deserves careful consideration, especially in light of the unique characteristics of family child care homes.

Quality Ratings Programs

Reimagining Quality in Quality Ratings Programs (2017)

Quality measures are applied to family child care settings through a variety of policy mechanisms including licensing, funding streams, and voluntary quality programs. This resource summarizes our findings relating to quality in family child care settings and Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) programs. We found that the many ways that family child care settings are diverse create both challenges and opportunities for defining and implementing quality in these settings.