Policy & Systems Change

Policy & Systems Change

Federal Policy

There are many policies and practices that impact family child care providers’ ability to run sustainable, high-quality child care businesses and families’ ability to access these programs. In order to achieve transformative outcomes for our youngest children, and the adults who care for, educate, and love them, family child care needs to be recognized and valued as a critical component of an early care and education system that works for all families.

All Our Kin’s Policy Team ensures that family child care is represented at the table when decisions about funding, programming, and systems design are being made; addresses challenges and opportunities in policy at the local, state, and federal levels; and facilitates opportunities for family child care educators and families to connect with key policymakers and make their voices heard. 

All Our Kin recently launched a new strand of its technical assistance initiative: Policy Advising.

Through Policy Advising, All Our Kin partners with state and local leaders who are eager to support and strengthen family child care in their communities, offering concrete strategies and guidance to move the needle on family child care policy and practice.


Interested in policy advising for state and local leaders, individual agencies, and cross-sector teams? Submit an interest form here.



A Strong Economy Needs Strong Family Child Care: Principles and State Policy Recommendations (June 2020) 

Our country’s reliance on family child care has never been more clear. In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, licensed family child care providers are offering home-based care in small group settings and during nontraditional hours to support our health care professionals and emergency responders.

Despite their critical role supporting communities during this pandemic, family child care businesses have never been more at risk. Without significant investments and support, family child care programs may not survive the current business climate and parents may find themselves without child care when they return to work. 

At a time when public health concerns make the small group size, flexible hours, and strong, trusting relationships that are the hallmark of family child care particularly attractive for children and parents, it is likely that the demand for family child care will increase.

Therefore, as states look to make decisions about economic recovery, their success depends on including family child care as a critical component of their plans to meet the changing needs of children, families, and employers. 

In this document, you will find: 

  1. Key principles to guide states’ decision-making about the role of family child care in supporting a strong economy; 
  2. Policy recommendations to support the health and safety, economic stability, and wellbeing of children, families, and family child care providers; 
  3. Recommendations for leveraging new and existing funding streams to make needed investments in the child care infrastructure, and 
  4. Information about staffed family child care networks as a mechanism to implement many of the policy recommendations presented. 

You can download the recommendations here

Staffed Family Child Care Networks: A Path Towards a Stronger, More Sustainable Child Care System (July 2020)

During the COVID-19 pandemic, as policymakers are looking to 1) identify and scale critical supports for children and families and 2) build robust child care businesses that will outlast the current moment and sustain children, families, and the economy into the future, staffed family child care networks offer a promising solution. This brief combines the most up-to-date research with a set of guidelines based on two decades of on-the-ground experience to help policymakers understand what staffed family child care networks are and how they can be implemented for maximum impact.  

You can download the brief here

Creating the Conditions for Family Child Care to Thrive: Strategies for Increasing the Supply, Quality, and Sustainability of Family Child Care in States and Communities (October 2019) 

We are at a pivotal moment for the future of family child care. Recent years have seen historic investments in early care and education at the local, state, and federal levels, and communities increasingly recognize that supporting family child care is a key strategy to address critical gaps in the child care access, quality, and affordability. At the same time, family child care businesses are closing rapidly across the country. 

This publication presents a framework for how state and local leaders can create the conditions for family child care to thrive in their communities, thereby increasing the supply, quality, and sustainability of child care options that meet the needs of all families.

We offer concrete strategies at the intersection of policy and practice across six domains: 

  • Funding Family Child Care Programs 
  • Supporting Quality in Family Child Care 
  • Building Sustainable Family Child Care Businesses 
  • Family Child Care Licensing 
  • Housing, Zoning, and Family Child Care 
  • Engaging Stakeholders Across Systems in Support of Family Child Care 

By working across these six domains, we believe that we can build a comprehensive early child care and education system that values family child care and works for all children and families--including those that face the greatest barriers to accessing care. 

You can download the full publication here.   
You can download the Executive Summary here

All Our Kin's NYC Reccomendations for Building A Sustainable Child Care System 


The COVID-19 pandemic has put in stark relief New York City’s long-standing child care crisis. Workforce recruitment and retention challenges have plagued the industry for years, and recent staff shortages, lost wages, and closures have forced underpaid educators to turn to other professions. Today, as families face increasing difficulty finding child care, our economic recovery depends on the availability of accessible, high-quality child care options - as do the futures of our youngest children, whose providers continue to offer high-quality learning experiences with few resources. 

This is particularly true for family child care providers who make up one of the most prevalent forms of care in New York City, comprising nearly three-quarters of providers and 37 percent of the city’s licensed child care capacity for children from birth to five. 

But with every crisis comes opportunity. During Eric Adams’ mayoral campaign, he asserted, “It is a moral imperative that we provide universal childcare.” The Mayor now has an unprecedented opportunity to invest in our City’s long-term economic stability by making the critical work of family child care providers intrinsic to his Administration’s child care policy. 

Mayor Adams should seize the moment to become a vanguard of change as he puts his child care plans in action. To build a child care system that works for all New Yorkers, there must be an equal emphasis on increasing access to careincreasing compensation for family child care providers and supporting quality in family child care (FCC), all while incorporating and elevating the voices of family child care educators. To that end, All Our Kin offers the following recommendations that encompass these principles, and are based on the organization’s experience and best practices developed over the past two-plus decades.

Read our full recommendations here.

Federal Policy