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Barriers and opportunities to connecting home-based childcare providers with federal programs

A new paper from the Urban Institute focuses on supporting home-based childcare (HBCC) providers’ participation in federal programs, from childcare scholarships to financial supports from the Small Business Administration. The report cites evidence that during the pandemic, parents have preferred the smaller and more flexible settings HBCC providers offer. The authors cite unfamiliarity with the programs, challenges enrolling, and difficulty meeting program requirements as key challenges facing HBCC providers. Given new pandemic-era funding for the childcare sector, authors note that states could provide dedicated outreach and support staff for helping HBCC providers navigate the federal programming landscape. They also cite formal HBCC network opportunities as a promising model, and suggest that fully utilizing federal resources is key to stabilizing the HBCC sector.