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Family, Friend and Neighbor (FFN) Advisory Council and Training Programs

The Need 

Family, Friend and Neighbor (FFN) child care providers are legally license-exempt child care providers regularly serving four or fewer children in a single setting. These providers are often grandparents, other relatives, friends or neighbors who offer a more flexible and affordable option for many Colorado families seeking child care. 

More than half of Colorado‚Äôs families depend on FFN providers, making them a critical part of the early childhood workforce. Research also shows that families of color and immigrant and refugee families are more likely to turn to FFN care providers, as these groups have been systemically denied equitable access to health and education. 

FFN child care providers have not historically received the recognition or resources they need. CDEC has faced barriers in reaching Colorado's FFN providers and establishing mechanisms for ongoing communication and feedback. Prior to this activity, there was a critical need for representation at the state level that is aligned within the overall care system. Creating this link establishes stronger communication between providers and the statewide resources that support them. 

The Strategy 

This project establishes a FFN Advisory Council to recommend policy, funding and rules and regulations to the Colorado Department of Early Childhood (CDEC), and creates a training and grant program for community-based and non-profit organizations to offer training programs, resources and technical assistance to the FFN providers. 

Key Outcomes and Learnings

Steps completed toward creation of the FFN Advisory Council

  • September 2023: Conditions of the Advisory Council were created. 
  • October 2023: Letter of acceptance sent to new members. 
  • December 2023: Members participated in Advisory Council orientation. 
  • January 2024: Regular meetings of the Advisory Council launched. 

Steps completed toward the Training and Grant Program

  • August 2023: Published Solicitation Information Request Form. 
  • October 2023 through January 2024: Proposals evaluated, vendors selected, and contract prepared.
  • April 2024: Contract signed with Colorado Statewide Parent Coalition.

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Funding

Amount: $7,500,000 

Source: State and Local Federal Recovery Funds (SLFRF)

Expiration: December 31, 2026

Next Steps

Vendors to begin work for the Training and Grant Program in 2024.