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MDC launches new initiative to support home-based child care in North Carolina

MDC is pleased to announce the launch of a two-pronged initiative in support of home-based child care, to help advance North Carolina’s early childhood system to better serve children and families.

Home Based Child Care (HBCC) is a widely utilized form of care for children under the age of five. It is the most common child care placement for infants and toddlers and includes both formal, and regulated care, like licensed family child care homes, as well as informal care known as Family, Friend, & Neighbor care (FFN).

HBCC, both formal and informal, provides critical infrastructure to the early childhood system and is integral to meeting the needs of families at a time when families are struggling to find affordable child care and supply cannot keep up with demand. Despite its prevalence, HBCC providers do not receive equitable resources, support, or recognition from our early childhood system which has prioritized licensed center-based settings. This has contributed to the decline of licensed family child care homes throughout the state.

The North Carolina HBCC initiative seeks to uplift HBCC as a vital and valued part of the early childhood system through:

  • Establishing a Community of Practice (COP) that brings together HBCC networks across the state to build their capacity to implement strategies that strengthen support of local providers and advances strategies for creating an inclusive system for HBCC providers and the families they serve.
  • Replicating a North Carolina-focused version of Leading from Home, a model leadership development effort for home-based child care providers, pioneered by Home Grown, Leading from Home initiative to support home-based provider leadership toward advancing system change.

MDC’s work is being initially supported with funding from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation.  “We are thrilled to have Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation as a partner as we engage this important work to serve North Carolina’s children and families,” said MDC Program Director, Jenna Barnes, who will lead MDC HBCC work. “MDC’s diverse experience positions us well for the HBCC initiative and enables us to create the open, supportive, and inclusive space for honest and meaningful dialogue on the challenges and opportunities for all North Carolina home-based providers.”

MDC is also thrilled with the opportunity to partner with and learn from Home Grown, a national organization whose mission is to improve the quality of and access to home-based child care.

In the coming months, MDC will launch a recruitment and selection process for Leading from Home in NC and will be convening the first session of the HBCC Community of Practice.

For more information on the initiative, contact Program Director, Jenna Barnes at [email protected].