AUBURN UNIVERSIITY – For almost 15 years, the Family Child Care Partnerships program at Auburn University has worked with family child care providers through mentoring, training and connecting providers with other professional organizations and by helping them work toward national accreditation.
The program has recently been recognized for its practice-based work with family child care providers with the 2014 Accreditation Facilitation Award from the National Association of Family Child Care.
This is the third time in five years the program has been recognized by the national association, but the first it was honored for its ongoing successes in coaching licensed family child care providers to achieve the highest standards of professional practice in child care. The program’s managing director Ellaine Miller accepted the award at the association’s annual conference in Orlando, Florida, in July.
“Family child care is an important early care and education setting used and preferred by many families,” said Ellen Abell, the program’s executive director and Alabama Cooperative Extension specialist. “Our charge is to assist providers to develop their child development knowledge, take on professional leadership roles, and apply well-established professional child care practices to foster the healthy growth and development of the infants, toddlers and preschoolers in their care.”
Since 2000, 109 providers in Alabama have achieved national accreditation with support from the program. The current number of Alabama accredited providers makes up more than five percent of the state’s family child care workforce. Only 2 percent of the country’s family child care workforce is nationally accredited.
Family Child Care Partnerships, an outreach program in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies in the College of Human Sciences at Auburn, is externally funded by the Alabama Department of Human Resources through a competitive grant process. Over the last 14 years, the work of the program and the Department of Human Resources has resulted in significant, measureable changes in the quality of care offered by family child care providers in Alabama.
(Written by Amy Weaver.)