Published on December 19, 2022


HARTFORD, CONN (December 19, 2022) – Today, the City of Hartford joined the State of Connecticut's Office of Early Childhood and the United Way of Connecticut to announce that the City of Hartford has been named as a regional hub for the State's Staffed Family Child Care Network (SFCCN).  As part of this program, the City's Department of Families, Children, Youth and Recreation (DFCYR) will provide administrative and technical supports to at-home childcare providers in one of six regions in the state, comprising 26 towns in the Hartford area, while also working to recruit other prospective family child care providers to the field to help build capacity of child care in Connecticut.  

Hartford had previously overseen 70 licensed at-home childcare providers in the City, with the DFCYR team providing business practice support, coaching and financial management, professional development, training, and guidance during the certification process.  They will now expand their scope to manage relationships throughout a region that hosts over 400 at-home childcare providers.

"At-home childcare providers create an opportunity for children and families to receive quality, affordable early childcare that can help create a solid educational foundation for them at an early age," said Mayor Bronin.  "Nontraditional childcare settings also help parents get back in the workforce by allowing more flexibility in family schedules than they would otherwise have.  I'm proud of our DFCYR team's efforts providing critical support to this industry, helping grow capacity of childcare services here in Hartford so we can meet the growing demand for these programs.  We’re grateful to the State’s Office of Early Childhood and to the United Way for their commitment to this work, and their selection of Hartford to coordinate services for these 26 towns is a testament to the work that our team has been doing in Hartford.  We look forward to continuing those support services to at-home childcare providers throughout the region."

The regions will all be overseen by the United Way of Connecticut's 211 Child Care, which will operate as the SFCCN hub in partnership with the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood.  The network hub will regularly convene the cohort of regional network subcontractors to develop long-term professional relationships, promote a group identity and share best practices.  Before this network, individual municipalities had managed their own support services for at-home childcare providers.

“United Way of Connecticut’s 211 Child Care is committed to ensuring that Connecticut’s family child care system develops equitably and consistently,” shares Sherri Sutera, UWC Senior Vice President of Child Care Services.  “And we believe that all family child care providers should receive a broad spectrum of consistent and quality support services.  We are pleased that SFCCNs will now launch as a Regional Network led by our UWC team.”

“Staffed Family Child Care Networks are a critical part of the infrastructure being built by the Office of Early Childhood to support child care providers.  With a focus on family home-based providers, these networks ensure that individuals caring for young children in their homes are connected experts in early care and education,” said Beth Bye, Office of Early Childhood Commissioner.  “The Staffed Family Child Care Hub works with regional networks which links family child care providers to supports to strengthen both programmatic and business practices with the end goal to ensure their long-term viability.”

The program aims to improve outcomes for the at-home childcare providers, as well as children and their families.  For the caregivers, the network will prioritize efforts to enhance quality of services, increase providers' knowledge of child development, improve business stability and financial skills, and connect the caregivers to community resources as well as coaching.  For children, the enhanced support provided by the network will look to spur cognitive development, increase exposure to diverse communities and peer groups, and improve safety, while families will see improved transparency and knowledge of child development.

In order to fund this program, the United Way is contributing $574,747 over 3 years.  The City also received a grant from Home Grown, a project of the Health Federation of Philadelphia.  Hartford is the only municipality to be named a regional network hub for the SFCCN.  CTAEYC and TEAM Inc. were selected to run the other regional network hubs.  The DFCYR team is currently connecting with existing childcare providers in the capital region and recruiting new providers to the field.

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