National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) partnered with the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) to explore the impact of child care stabilization grants on family child care (FCC) programs and families, as well as the potential consequences of the grants’ expiration. FCC is a critical component of our nation’s child care and early learning systems, providing opportunities for families to choose safe, quality, culturally-affirming early childhood education in a home-based setting.
The organizations took a deeper look at the 2022 early childhood education (ECE) field survey data specifically focused on FCC educators. Click here to view the entire brief.
A deep dive into the data reveals that the stabilization grants may have had a particularly meaningful and even outsized impact on FCC homes, and on the families who rely on FCC for access to child care and early learning.
Child care stabilization grants have been instrumental in supporting FCC programs and families. According to the ECE field survey, 75% of child care directors and 85% of family child care owners reported receiving these funds, which helped cover expenses, maintain high-quality care, and increase accessibility for families.
39% of FCC educators who received the grants said their program “would be closed without the support.” This is nearly twice as many as those from non-FCC homes (19%) who said their programs would be closed.
“I’m so very grateful for the grants. I would not have survived financially without them. I’m also proud that my state has begun an initiative to hear and elevate family child care professionals.” -Early childhood educator in a FCC setting, North Carolina
The substantial benefits of stabilization grants experienced by FCC homes also means that there may be substantial losses ahead for FCC, when stabilization grants end.
While 34% of respondents in non-FCC settings could say that their program “will be fine” when the stabilization grants end, only 13% of FCC homes could say the same.
Additionally, FCC respondents anticipated substantial impacts resulting from the end of stabilization grants on programs, educators, families, and children, including
- 34.8% will be forced to raise tuition for working parents
- 37.2% will cut wages and/or be able to sustain wage/salary increases
- 38.4% will reduce benefits to staff
- 19.5% will serve fewer children
The end of the stabilization grants threaten the crucial role of FCC homes in the child care ecosystem. This comes on top of the steep declines in the supply of licensed FCC, narrowing the choices and options for families.
To secure the future of family child care, we urge increased federal investments through the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) and support for Head Start and preschool. To promote effective decision-making and prioritize targeted investments, it is crucial to actively involve FCC educators. Continuous research plays a pivotal role in comprehending the distinct circumstances faced by home-based early educators and in formulating specific strategies aimed at providing them with enhanced support.
Please take a moment to read the full brief here.