Supporting Quality in Home-Based Child Care
The articles in this issue of Zero to Three synthesize the research on home-based child care and describe some of the recent quality initiatives around the country. Articles describe the development of the national accreditation process offered through The National Association for Family Child Care, FCC within the U.S. Department of Defense child development system, an examination of the emerging literature on FFN care, and research exploring the relationship between support network affiliation and quality in family child care. Also described in this issue is a new collaborative initiative of the Office of Head Start and the Office of Child Care—The Early Head Start for Family Child Care Project—which seeks to understand how existing resources at the federal, state, and local levels can be combined and coordinated to leverage comprehensive services for children in low income families.
The voices of the providers who are caring for children in their homes provide an important perspective on the implementation of “best practices” and the day-to-day reality of home-based child care. An interview with three providers participating in a professional network of FCC providers partnering with Early Head Start reveals the opportunities and complications of their work with children and families. It will take the collective interest and careful attention of researchers, policymakers, educators, parents, funders, and providers to preserve the special qualities of home-based child care while at the same time ensuring that all children receive enriching early care and