Policy Advising

Policy Advising

Creating the Conditions for Family Child Care to Thrive:
Policy Advising for State and Local Leaders 

All Our Kin’s Policy Advising technical assistance is an ongoing opportunity for small teams of state and local leaders to identify a challenge that impacts family child care educators in their community, and work together to change systems, policy, and/or practice in a way that leads to better outcomes for educators and the children and families that rely on them. Policy Advising is guided by the framework from All Our Kin’s Creating the Conditions report; the full report can be found here.

Past participants in All Our Kin’s Policy Advising have:

  • Implemented an Advocacy 101 training for educators

  • Formed a cross-sector group dedicated to family child care

  • Conducted a landscape scan of home-based care 

  • Advocated for and achieved higher reimbursement rates 

  • Connected with ECE stakeholders and champions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Policy Advising?

Through Policy Advising, teams of state or local partners will identify an issue related to family child care in their community and work toward progress on that issue through the creation and execution of a family child care policy agenda. 

All Our Kin will support teams to understand their local family child care context, create a tailored policy agenda, build relationships with necessary stakeholders, increase internal capacity, and learn from national experts and other leaders in the field to impact meaningful change for family child care in their communities.

What will a team do?  

As part of Policy Advising, participants will join a growing community of teams of state and local leaders who are ready to address key child care gaps in their communities by creating the policy and practice conditions for family child care to thrive. Participants will receive individualized consultation and support from All Our Kin’s Policy TA team and various subject matter experts—as well as national partners, as necessary—to build a robust child care system that truly meets the diverse needs of all families. Through Policy Advising, teams can:

  • Develop an increased understanding of the family child care landscape in their state/community, including the major challenges and opportunities related to the supply, quality, and sustainability of family child care businesses.
  • Identify a policy/practice issue(s) to focus on for the duration of the partnership, shaped by factors including available data, parent and educator voice, and potential for impact.
  • Create a family child care policy agenda and action plan with short- and long-term goals, concrete benchmarks, and a timeline; made progress on implementation.
  • Build relationships with key stakeholders whose partnership is needed to move the action plan forward.
  • Increase their internal capacity to move the needle on family child care, including through a better understanding of the data, messages, stories, and strategies that garner support from multi-sector stakeholders.
  • Join a growing community of innovative leaders from across the country who are dedicated to supporting and strengthening family child care and who can act as a brain trust for years to come.

When is Policy Advising available? 

Policy Advising is available for a limited number of teams on an ongoing basis. We welcome teams to submit an application at any time. We will select teams on a rolling basis as it aligns with our team’s capacity.

Who should apply? 

Participants are small teams of 5-6 state and/or local leaders who:
1. Are deeply committed to family child care;
2. Are well-positioned to transform family child care policy and practice; and 
3. Have the time and capacity to participate as full members of the experiene, as outlined below.

At least one member of every team must be a currently operating family child care educator. Family child care educator participants should be included in early conversations about this opportunity and their ideas should inform the application responses. Each team is expected to compensate the family child care educator participant(s) for their work in meetings, which is separate from the participation fee due to All Our Kin.

Each team must also have a designated team leader who will be the main point of contact for the team. The team leader is responsible for communicating with All Our Kin to coordinate team meetings and logistics, co-create team meeting agendas, and serve as the team’s point person for all activities.

Who should be on a team? 

We define state and local leaders broadly – appointed advisors and commissioners, CCDF Administrators, QRIS leaders, family child care educators, advocates, union leaders, provider association members or leaders, chairs of local early childhood councils, community-based organizations, and more. If you see yourself as a leader in this work, please feel free to apply. Teams can and should include members from different organizations. See below for some examples of other team members: 

  • Director of Early Childhood Accountability and Access, [State] Department of Education 
  • Policy Director, [State] Policy Institute for Children or Advocates for Children of [State]
  • Child Care Contract Manager, Workforce Solutions for [County]
  • Program Officer, Charitable Foundation 
  • President, Family Child Care Providers Association
  • President, Child Care Aware of [State]
  • Director of Quality Early Learning, Child Care Resource Center 
  • Resource and Referral Assistant Director, Child Care Resource Center

What are the responsibilities of the Team Lead?

The Team Lead will serve as the main point of contact for the team and will be responsible for coordinating with All Our Kin to schedule and plan meetings, co-create meeting agendas, and facilitate the team’s progress on policy agenda goals. In addition to the time commitment for the entire team, the Team Lead might also spend an additional 30 minutes to 1 hour each month supporting meeting coordination and preparation alongside All Our Kin’s team. 

What is the cost of participation?

Teams will pay a fee of $5,000 to participate. In order to value the time and expertise of family child care educators, teams are required to compensate their family child care educator participants (this is separate from the $5,000 fee). Additionally, teams are required to create accessible conditions for the educator(s) on their team to participate in the Policy Advising activities, which may include covering the cost of substitutes, providing technology, and having meetings outside of program operating hours. If the $5,000 fee presents a barrier to participation, please reach out to us. The team lead (on behalf of their full team) will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlining expectations for All Our Kin and the team. 

How should my team pay the participation fee?

There are different ways your team might fund the participation fee. Teams should identify a source of funding that makes sense for them. We encourage teams to consider different funding sources including your organization, philanthropy or funders, state funds, or federal funds. Consider whether this work forwards the goals of an existing grant to your organization, or whether other funds need to be solicited for this work. If the fee presents a barrier to participation, please reach out to us.

What is the time commitment? 

The time commitment for policy advising is eight months, with monthly 1-hour team meetings. Additional time might be required for work in-between meetings or consideration of ideas and materials. If your team has more immediate needs, or envisions a different timeline for the partnership, please reach out to us to discuss further. 

The work that teams will do is meant to be aligned with work that you and your team members seek to do or are already doing, and will depend on the issue or challenge that your team identifies to work on. The intention is for Policy Advising to help enhance and support ongoing work and will therefore fall within that time. There will also be occasional, optional, opportunities to come together with other teams for shared learning, webinars, and technical assistance on specific policy issues.

How does my team apply?

Please indicate your interest in All Our Kin’s Policy Advising technical assistance offering by completing the application. The application requests short answers to a series of questions designed to help us better understand the participants and goals of each team. As a reminder, only one person (the team lead) should fill out the application on behalf of the entire team. We will review your application and be in touch to schedule a short, informal interview to further understand your team’s goals. If you have questions specific to the application, please contact All Our Kin’s Policy Advisor, Becca Smith at becca@allourkin.org

How are we expected to compensate family child care educator participants? Is there a range you can provide? 

We want to be mindful that compensation of family child care educator participants might look different for every team, so we do not have an exact range to provide. However, it is our recommendation that educator participants be compensated for their time in the same way that other team members would, which could look like translating a team member’s salary into an hourly rate and using that to compensate the educator for the time she spends in team meetings and supporting the work in between meetings. Additionally, it is our recommendation that each team support a process for compensating educator participants that does not place undue administrative burden on educators. 


What if I don't know what the exact challenge or issue is for family child care in my state/community?

We can support your team in examining the landscape and context in your state or community and identifying a challenge or issue to focus on.

What is the deadline to apply? 

We welcome teams to submit an application at any time. We will select teams on a rolling basis as it aligns with our staff capacity. 


Past Participant Perspectives

Houston, TX team, 2021-22

The Houston team, composed of cross-sector individuals and family child care educators committed to improving outcomes for all children, identified a shared goal of engaging the local family child care educator community in their policy and advocacy efforts. After identifying policy priorities that aligned with the goals of the Houston Infant Toddler Coalition, the team planned and carried out a virtual event to engage family child care educators in the greater Houston area. With support from All Our Kin, the team is set to intentionally and thoughtfully continue engagement with the family child care educator community in their efforts to increase supports for home-based care in Harris County.

“When you’re feeling blue about a chapter coming to a close, you know it’s been a good one! From cultivating genuine relationships with educators and advocates to discovering novel pathways for supporting child care in Houston, my experience with All Our Kin’s Creating the Conditions Cohort was undoubtedly meaningful. I couldn’t be more thankful to All Our Kin for opening my eyes a bit wider to the ecosystem of family child care and providing our collective group with the tools needed to expand our work with child care educators and the parents, caregivers, and children they serve.”

- Participant from team in Houston, TX


Tarrant & Dallas Counties, TX team, 2020-21

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tarrant & Dallas Counties team focused their efforts on elevating family child care educator voice in policy conversations in order to make sure that educators were being heard in decision-making conversations around COVID relief funding. As a part of this goal, the team worked with All Our Kin to develop and implement an Advocacy 101 training for family child care educators. Their teamwork resulted in many family child care educators feeling empowered to be involved in local policy, and local systems have since adapted to be inclusive of family child care.

“Our work with All Our Kin’s policy TA allowed us to put together advocacy 101 classes for family child care providers. As a result of the advocacy training, providers had the opportunity to advocate at the local level to overturn a city ordinance that was prohibiting licensed home-based care. Family child care providers in this city are now able to be licensed, permitting them to increase their income and capacity as business owners. The work with All Our Kin helped our team equip providers with the skills and resources necessary to make positive policy change. 

- Participant from team in Tarrant and Dallas Counties, TX