CHILD CARE RESOURCES
Child Care Resources has been and continues to be a great partner in our work for children and their families. The strength of the organization, its creative leadership, and its willingness to pioneer new territory, makes for one of our community’s most valued assets. Please read on to learn how CCR has helped define the leading edge in the support of family, friend and neighbor caregivers.Child Care Resources holds a vision that “every child has a great start in school and in life.” Our mission is to lead efforts to promote equity for children, community stability, and school readiness by helping families access and choose high quality child and after school care, partnering with providers and caregivers to offer excellent care, and advocating for child care solutions that strengthen communities. Child Care Resources’ core services are information and referral to parents seeking child care options, and training and support of licensed child care providers. In our efforts to serve all children, Child Care Resources has been a local and national leader in developing and coordinating programs to support children being cared for by Family, Friends & Neighbors. An essential part of the continuum of child care, family, friend and neighbor (FFN) caregivers include grandparents, aunts and uncles, older siblings, elders, friends and neighbors. They provide care for an estimated 60,000 children in King County; for 28,000 of those children, FFN providers are the primary source of care when they are away from their parents.
For many families, the decision to have their children cared for by extended family, friends or neighbors is made because of existing bonds of love and trust. Parents have confidence their children will be safe, and their values, language, and culture will be strengthened. In many cultures, FFN care is not seen as a choice, but simply as the way things are: extended family and community working together to raise children.
Child Care Resources has developed partnerships with a wide variety of community organizations to create a system of support for FFN caregivers in Seattle/King County. Resources and information are reaching FFN caregivers through library systems, parent education programs, family and community centers, faith communities, and neighborhood centers. Free, facilitated educational Play & Learn groups for caregivers, parents and children are held in many different neighborhoods.
Issues relating to family, friend and neighbor child care are being discussed and researched across the nation. These organizations’ websites and publications offer valuable information and insight:
- Bank Street College’s Institute for a Child Care Continuum www.bankstreet.edu/iccc/
- Families and Work Institute www.familiesandwork.org/sparking/home.htm
- Human Services Policy Center www.hspc.org/publications/educating_caring.aspx
- National Center for Children in Poverty www.nccp.org/media/cwr98e-text.pdf
- National Child Care Information Center www.nccic.org/poptopics/stateandlocal.html