The Cypress Hills Family Day Care Network (FDCN) is both a child care and women’s entrepreneurship program that helps low to moderate-income women in Cypress Hills/East New York open and sustain their own family child care businesses. Since 1991, FDCN has been an engine for economic advancement for more than 400 female entrepreneurs. Building on their existing child-rearing skills, they create businesses that empower them to achieve home ownership, education, and sustainable upward mobility for themselves and their families through stable employment. A number of the providers have been with the program since its inception — they began when they were at home caring for their own children. The provision of care to additional children allowed for increased socialization for their children, helped supplement the family’s income and provided opportunities for neighbors with children to pursue employment or education knowing that their children would be well cared for.
Members of the network launch their own children into the middle class: some have become school principals or have attained PhDs. The providers’ delivery of high-quality, affordable childcare in low-income communities with few options, also make it possible for other women in East New York to pursue full-time employment and build financial health. Without access to full-day, full-year, flexible childcare, economic growth is simply out of reach for far too many of our neighbors even in the best of times; as we all move forward from the pandemic, it is especially crucial for economic recovery.
CHCCC helps meet this need by working alongside aspiring entrepreneurs to navigate the logistical, legal, and licensure hurdles, which can seem overwhelming, to establish a family childcare business and earn their Childhood Development Associates credential. CHCCC continues to deliver personalized support as they grow and sustain stimulating, affirming, and culturally responsive learning spaces.
We have both an English-dominant and Spanish-dominant network so that parents may find a home where their preferred language is used, and providers are encouraged to hire an assistant fluent in the nondominant language. Regular bilingual workshops offer targeted training on topics ranging from recognizing child abuse, understanding trauma, and nurturing resilience to best practices in marketing, hiring and managing employees, and planning for sustainable financial health. CHCCC administers a Child and Adult Care Food Program Child and Adult Food Care Program contract to reimburse providers for meals served to the children throughout the day so that healthy meals and snacks may be served without charge to the families. We also conduct four home visits a year with each provider as part of our partnership.
FDCN has 56 English and Spanish speaking providers and 52 assistants. The Child Care Corporation does community outreach to inform area residents about the FDCN and provides referrals to its providers.