Home-based, legally exempt child care providers who receive payment through the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) in New York City can participate in free training sessions on Zoom offered by the Institute’s Informal Family Child Care Project. Training hours can be used toward the city’s enhanced market rate.
The GROW Program, which offers sessions in both English and Spanish, is for providers who do not belong to a family child care network (FCCN). Training topics include learning through play, creating a welcoming environment for children, partnering with families, guiding children through challenging behavior and more.
In the first round of virtual training, which took place in the fall of 2023, more than 60 providers gathered on Zoom to connect with each other and learn tips for engaging the young children in their care.
“Family child care providers can sometimes feel invisible and isolated, but this is their place to build relationships and give each other advice,” said program facilitator Zoraima Rosario.
Providers who participated said the training had helped them discover new strategies for supporting children’s learning through play.
“I learned how I can make any experience and activity with my nephew a learning opportunity — even if it’s small, I can still make it fun while they learn,” said one participant.
Another participant shared that the training enhanced her communication with young children.
“I learned the importance of knowing when and how to engage with children — when is the right time to approach them and knowing what questions to ask to engage in conversation,” she said.
Rosario hopes providers who attend the training learn strategies for building positive relationships with children — and, in the process, understand how important their work is.
“They’re doing the work with young children, and we want them to understand how valued and respected they are,” she said.