The Annie E. Casey Foundations releases annual updates to their KIDS COUNT Data Book to report on the well-being of America’s children. The aim is to increase public awareness of the challenges facing disadvantaged children and families while heightening public interest in strategies and policies that hold promise for meeting some of those challenges.

This year, the report focuses on improving early childhood development, particularly child care, to create opportunities for young children living in low-income neighborhoods to access education and skills necessary for success.

Quality child care is not meant to take the place of the role of primary parents, but it is important to realize its influence on early childhood learning and development. Many parents in low-income neighborhoods turn to “family, friend and neighbor care,” which is offered in a home-based setting outside a child’s own home, by both regulated and unregulated providers. It can be provided by caregivers as a business enterprise or by relatives. This essay is focused on developing strategies to help support and improve this particular form of child care. 

January 1, 2006

In This Report, You’ll Learn

  1. 1

    About the importance of quality child care and its influence on early childhood education.

  2. 2

    The role and use of family, friends and neighbors who provide home-based child care.

  3. 3

    Why families choose family, friend and neighbor care.

  4. 4

    Why family, friend and neighbor care should be improved, and the associated challenges.

  1. 5

    Examples of how this type of home-based childcare has been improved in regions across the country.

  2. 6

    Recommendations for both state and federal level strategies to improve the quality and impact of home-based child care.

Key Takeaway

Quality child care is a key element in assuring that millions of kids receive a good start in life.

Child care keeps children safe, promotes good health and nutrition, fosters positive trusting relationships with other children and adults, and supplements parents’ role as their children’s first and primary teachers. 

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations