Family Child Care

Every day millions of children are cared for in home-based or family child care (FCC)—child care provided within a caregiver’s home. In fact, out of nearly 11 million young children with working mothers, 40 percent spent more time in family child care than in any other child care setting1.  These settings might or might not be regulated by a State or Territory. States vary in the rules they set for licensed family child care, including how many children can be cared for in a home without being licensed. Nationally, about one in four children (24 percent) receiving child care funded by the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) program are cared for in family child care. In 21 States and Territories, 30 percent or more of children receiving CCDF program funds are in family child care2.

Family child care is a critical component of the national child care system. The 2014 reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act revised the objectives of the CCDF program. The law now emphasizes improvement in the overall quality of child care services and programs and calls for an increase in the number and percentage of low-income children in high-quality child care. To achieve these goals, we need to renew support for building the supply of high-quality family child care.

Did You Know?

  • Approximately 1 million paid providers care for children in a home3.
  • Approximately 3 million children, birth to age five, are cared for by paid providers in a home3.
  • 18,000 home-based providers are licensed, regulated, license-exempt, or registered and known to States3.

Learn more about the important role of family child care by reviewing our brief on why OCC supports FCC and the FCC Resources List.

1 Laughlin, L., 2013, Table 3. Primary Child Care Arrangements of Preschoolers With Employed Mothers: Selected
Years, 1985 to 2011, Who’s Minding the Kids? Child Care Arrangements: Spring 2011, Current Population Reports, P70-135, U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC. The 40-percent figure includes relative and nonrelative care given in the provider’s home or child’s home. A primary child care arrangement is defined as the arrangement used for the most hours per week.

2Those States and Territories are Alaska, California, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming.

3 National Study of Early Childhood Education




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