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The Latest Public Policy News from PFCCAG

The Latest Public Policy News

Release Date: 10/29/2021

Recommendations for Family Child Care Providers and Advocates Concerning DECAL Use of Additional CRRSA and ARPA Funds.

 

DECAL announced plans to spend a substantial portion of the funds available from the Corona Response and Relief Supplemental Assistance Act (CRRSA) and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and has an additional $400 million to develop other initiatives. Office of Child guidance on use of the discretionary funds says “Lead Agencies should consider strategies to support the expansion of family child care and additional support for family child care providers as lead agencies build the supply of child care in underserved areas.” While there are many ways this money could further support family child care providers and families using family child care, PFCCAG has a set of recommendations that would be most useful to FCCLH applicants and current providers. If you agree with these recommendations, feel free to include them in comments you share with DECAL

 

Recommendations.

 

  • Create a Statewide FCCLH Start-Up Initiative.

  • Provide training and other supports for FCCLH providers seeking to offer care during nontraditional hours.

  • Promote the development of family child care associations and support groups at the local level (city, county, neighborhood).

  • Develop a strategy to help FCCLH providers (sole proprietors) gain access to benefits, primarily health and retirement.

  • Develop a family child care mentoring program using experienced providers as mentors.

 

Rationale

 

Here is a brief explanation of why these recommendations meet DECAL’s mission of “meeting the child care and early education needs of Georgia's children and their families” and would be helpful to providers and parents using family child care.

 

Create a Statewide FCCLH Start-Up Initiative. PFCCAG documented the decline of FCC homes in GA and ways to reverse the decline through 2 position papers and recently through a comprehensive “Blueprint for Action” statement, see https://www.pfccag.org/public-policy.  The Blueprint documents the important role family child care plays meeting child care needs, explains why the number of homes is declining, describes barriers and challenges to reversing this decline, and propose a bold plan to increase the number of FCC homes. PFCCAG also operates a successful FCC start-up project in Atlanta funded by United Way of Greater Atlanta. DECAL could maximize the ability of the federal funds to “build the supply of child care in low-income communities” by creating a statewide initiative through contracts with the 6 child care resource and referral agencies, through use of early education community partnership staff, or other initiatives to reverse the decline .

 

Provide training and other supports for FCCLH providers seeking to offer care during nontraditional hours.  A PFCCAG and Quality Care for Children survey indicated over 90 percent of survey respondents indicated they had been asked by parents to provide care outside of the standard weekday hours of 7:30 AM to 6:30 PM and almost the same amount said they had at some point provided Non-Traditional Hour care, see https://www.pfccag.org/public-policy. DECAL could fund a Pilot project(s) to promote the need for nontraditional care to providers, address specific operational concerns, and link employers having nontraditional work schedules to FCC providers offering this service.

 

Promote the development of family child care associations and support groups at the local level (city, county, neighborhood). Local FCC associations offer many benefits to providers who work long hours in an isolated setting and who need opportunities for mutual support. Local associations also offer leadership development opportunities ensuring the next generation of local, state, and national leaders emerge. PFCCAG received funding from 9to5 National Association of Working Women GA to develop a manual for starting a local association and to help 4-6 provider groups form an association. DECAL could build on this framework by supporting PFCCAG, CCR&Rs, or other organizations develop local associations or support groups throughout the state.

 

Develop a strategy to help FCCLH providers (sole proprietors) gain access to benefits, primarily health and retirement. FCC providers are sole proprietors usually with only one employee, the provider.  This size and status, along with low to modest earnings, makes it difficult to obtain health insurance or save for retirement.  Federal guidance stresses the importance of increasing worker compensation, but for FCC providers, it is also critical that access to benefits is available. DECAL should fund a research and development FCC benefits pilot.

 

Develop a family child care mentoring program using experienced providers as mentors. Many current and retiring providers have experience which could be used to mentor younger providers and applicants for licensing. For example, in 2018 there were 172 providers in operation for 25 years or more with the longest being 33 years. Several other states have initiated projects to train experienced providers as mentors. DECAL could research existing models and develop a pilot program

 

If you have questions or seek additional information, send an email to info@pfccag.org.