West Central Initiative

COVID-19 Impact

The state’s stay-at-home order greatly impacted child-care providers. A large percentage of the providers lost 50% to 70% of the children in their care, along with the income associated with those children. Other providers expanded their hours to accommodate specific employers, such as the local hospital, continuing their child care from early morning until late into the night. Many providers also expanded their care to school-age children, providing space and technology to continue with distance learning. This is all at a time when disinfectant products and toiletries are scarce and food costs are increasing.

Emergency Fund

West Central Initiative leverages partnerships to provide families and communities in west-central Minnesota with the resources they need to thrive. With support from Home Grown, they allocated $1,000 to every 100 family-based providers on a first-come, first-served basis. Most funds were used for cleaning supplies, infrared thermometers, food—and even mortgage payments.

Mother teaching children at home because the coronavirus - Learning with digital tablet

Stabilizing the Economic Well-Being of Family, Friend Neighbor Providers

FFN care is one of the most used forms of child care for young children and reliance on this care increased during the pandemic. Greater attention to, inclusion of, and support for FFN caregivers is an urgent priority. 
gabe-pierce-mLqWFEtlIEs-unsplash-crop

New Report Provides Data, Illuminates Opportunities and Challenges for Home-based Pre-K Providers

A recently released report from Home Grown and the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) provides critical state and city data on the current integration of Family Child Care (FCC) providers in publicly-funded pre-K. Titled Including Family Child Care in State and City-Funded Pre-K Systems: Opportunities and Challenges, it also examines perceived opportunities and challenges with FCC participation in pre-K. Home Grown believes that Family Child Care providers contribute a vital service, often in under-served communities, and are deserving of the opportunity to access public pre-K funding to further nurture and teach the children in their care.
Home-Grown-NETWORK-HUB-infographic-draft4_Final

Building Child Care Infrastructure through Comprehensive Networks