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Early Head Start and Family Child Care

The Head Start Family Child Care (FCC) Program Option is one of four service delivery methods by Early Head Start (EHS) and Head Start programs. The FCC option offers comprehensive services to a small group of children and families through their enrollment in licensed family child care homes. Small settings, a familiar home-like atmosphere, and caregivers nestled in the community are some of the reasons why families gravitate to this service delivery method and why programs choose this option. To learn more download Technical Assistance Paper [PDF, 421KB] and browse more FCC option resources.

Resources

Caregiver interacts with infants and toddlers
  • Tip Sheets for Administrators [PDF, 1.7MB]
    These four tip sheets can help Early Head Start and child care administrators partner together to improve the quality of care for children and help families move toward their work and education goals. They also provide insight into how these two programs can creatively combine resources to optimally serve low-income infants, toddlers, and families.
  • Tip Sheets for Providers in English and Spanish [PDF, 1.6KB]
    These four tip sheets, available in English and Spanish, provide guidance on why creating partnerships between family child care providers and Early Head Start is beneficial and offers information on how to better serve low-income infants, toddlers, and families in communities.
  • Promoting Local Partnerships Between Child Care and Early Head Start: Ideas for State Leaders [PDF, 182KB]
    This issue paper discusses the importance of early childhood partnerships, specifically between Early Head Start and child care, that meet the needs of infants, toddlers, and families.
  • Building Partnerships Between Early Head Start Grantees and Family Child Care Providers: Lessons from the Early Head Start for Family Child Care Project [PDF, 1.1MB]
    This report evaluates the Early Head Start for Family Child Care Project, which was designed to develop and pilot strategies for building Early Head Start and family child care partnerships. It documents the characteristics of the participating Early Head Start grantees, their child care partners, the Child Care Partnership Coordinators, and the communities in which they operate. The report describes how the work was implemented at local and state levels, how much progress was made toward reaching targeted outcomes, and what types of partnerships were formed to support collaboration.

Early Head Start for Family Child Care Project: July 2010-December 2011

The Early Head Start for Family Child Care Project (EHS for FCC Project) was funded to design, implement and evaluate a replicable framework that supports a partnership between Early Head Start and family child care. This project aimed to increase quality for low-income children in family child care homes by leveraging comprehensive services that include health and social services. Read the Early Head Start for Family Child Care Project Fact Sheet [PDF, 213KB] for more information.

Demonstration Project Overview

Twenty-two ARRA-funded Early Head Start grantees developed and implemented individualized work plans with goals, activities, and expected outcomes based on the framework. A Child Care Partnership Coordinator (CCPC) consulted with each EHS program and its child care partners to facilitate implementation of their individual work plan, and make resources available to support this work. Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. conducted the project evaluation activities.

Goals of Early Head Start for Family Child Care Demonstration Project

The ultimate goals of EHS for FCC were:

  • Higher quality care for low-income children in family child care homes;
  • Coordinated comprehensive services for families;
  • Support to increase capacity for family child care providers; and
  • Strong partnerships that support coordinated service delivery in communities.

Project Resources

 

Early Head Start and Family Child Care. HHS/ACF/OHS. 2012. English.

 

Last Reviewed: March 2014

Last Updated: March 21, 2014