Focused Child Care Networks

What it is:
Multnomah County Child Care Resource and Referral is investing in targeted child care coaching networks for home-based African-American, Latino and Slavic providers.

Why it’s important:
Young children learn best in environments that are culturally relevant. That’s why culturally specific providers are often best equipped to serve families in their communities. But traditional provider coaching and professional development methods don’t often meet the needs of culturally specific providers. Focused Child Care Networks offer support and guidance in culturally appropriate ways so that all providers can build their skills and be included in programs like Oregon’s Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS), the State’s child care quality rating system.

How it works:
Focused Child Care Networks celebrate culturally specific child care providers and provide them with culturally appropriate coaching and training in their first language. Home-based child care providers from African-American, Latino, and Slavic communities meet regularly to receive targeted coaching and professional development. They also get support as they compile portfolios for the Spark, Oregon's rating system for child care quality.

Fifty-seven providers are involved in Focused Child Care Networks. Forty-one of those providers have submitted Spark portfolios, and ten have received ratings of 3 or higher.

What’s next:
Interest among culturally specific providers is strong and growing. In fact, the Latino Network currently has a waiting list for participation.