Voices of Home-Based Providers: Perspectives from the Early Childhood Field
This project will build on the relatively thin body of work on informal, home-based child care providers in the United States. It aims to better understand how that community can be supported in meeting societal priorities around increasing affordable access to high-quality early childhood care. Home-based care providers deliver essential care services but occupy a structurally challenging position. These providers are poorly compensated and face challenges when it comes to meeting licensing requirements or achieving high-quality ratings. This study will identify impediments to these child care providers’ abilities to provide high-quality, affordable child care that is accessible to the families that need it. The authors will take advantage of a collaboration with the Virginia Department of Education to conduct interviews with licensed and unlicensed providers in Virginia through participatory action research, a research design that helps create unsilencing opportunities for those who have been silenced. This is especially important since the voices of home-based providers are often not included in the conversation about quality care.