Home-based child care (HBCC) providers support children’s development and help parents work. In 2019, slightly more than 1 million paid or listed HBCC providers cared for 4.3 million children younger than age 13, and another 4 million unpaid HBCC providers cared for another 8 million children. Despite the important role these providers play, however, many appear unlikely to participate in or benefit from public supports. Our recent reviews of their involvement with a diverse set of federal programs and services, including the Child Care and Development Fund, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, home visiting services supported by multiple funding streams, infant and early childhood mental health consultation, and financial supports from the Small Business Administration, find that HBCC providers are consistently less likely to benefit from these programs and services. This brief provides an overview of some common barriers HBCC providers face across these federal programs and services and explores the extent to which networks of home-based providers—such as staffed family child care networks or informal networks—could help address these barriers if provided appropriate resources and supports.
This brief is part a series focused on supporting greater home-based child care provider participation in various federal programs or service systems.