Family child care providers work hard to maintain their businesses. Aside from caring for children, they also must track billing and attendance, maintain the cleanliness of their facilities, market their businesses, find supplies, seek out professional development opportunities and much more. Providers – particularly in home-based settings – often perform these additional tasks outside of the normal hours of operation, sacrificing precious personal and family time.
When matched with children’s interests, summer camps with safe, healthy environments and practices can be fun places for children to learn and grow. Whether they’re day camps or sleepaways, summer camps can support children’s learning and development. Camps can also serve as safe places for children to be while their parents are at work.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the child care system in the United States was already fragile and underfunded. The U.S. spends less than 0.5% of GDP on child care, which is far lower than the majority of developed countries.
In addition, children of color and children from low-income families are less likely to be enrolled in high-quality child care programs. Child care staff are undervalued and underpaid, and female caregivers, especially women of color, bear the brunt of formal and informal care.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. In most states, child care providers are mandated reporters and have been trained to recognize signs that a child is experiencing abuse and respond appropriately. However, child care providers can also play a role in preventing child abuse before it begins. Stress and lack of parenting skills can increase the risk for abuse. As child care providers, you are an important part of families’ support systems and can encourage and educate parents. Here are four ways you can support parents and prevent child abuse.
Celebrate child care professionals on May 7! Join Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) in saying thank you to providers for taking care of our nation’s children. To say that being a child care provider this past year has been challenging would be an understatement. Providers were essential long before COVID-19, but the pandemic has underscored how essential child care is. Child care provides opportunities for families to go to work, children to learn, businesses to operate and the economy to grow. Child care providers are “opportunity makers.” Child care providers are brain-builders. They are among our nation’s unsung heroes!
Each time parents or caregivers spend time reading books with children, the neural pathways in their brains are strengthened. In a recent blog, Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) celebrated National Reading Month and shared ideas for engaging families to promote the importance of reading with children to ensure continued learning and support early brain development. To expand on this conversation and encourage reading with children every day throughout the year, CCAoA is excited to share stories from child care resource and referral agencies(CCR&Rs) who have engaged families around reading through innovative tools and community partnerships and from national programs that have created science-based tools to empower and support families.