Delaware: Training for Relative Care Providers Receiving Child Care Subsidies
Jun 26, 2009 | Child Care and Early Education
In 2006, Delaware implemented a policy change that required 45 clock hours of training in child development for all relative care providers receiving child care subsidies. Each relative caregiver has up to a year to complete the training requirement. This change was made through language in provider contracts (not a regulatory change). The new training requirement was the result of concerns in the Child Care Administrator's office about the existing quality of care among relative providers and was in part informed by a failed attempt in the late 1990s to offer free, voluntary training and technical assistance to relative care providers. The voluntary system did not generate sufficient interest among the relative care providers.
Training is delivered by the state's CCR&R network, Children and Families First (formerly called Family and Workplace Connection), by contract with the state child care administration. The state uses federal Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) funds, including funds transferred to CCDBG from the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant.
Children and Families First uses the same curriculum content for this initiative that is required for licensed providers, although the material is condensed in fewer course hours. The curriculum is designed for providers at all levels and includes interactive training that reflects best practices. Additionally, the same qualified trainers provide the training through the state's professional development system, Delaware First. Technical assistance and linkages to community resources are also available by the CCR&R upon request. Topics covered in training include:
- Child development
- Understanding children's behavior
- Language and literacy
- CPR/First Aid
Upon completion of the 45-hour training, relative care providers are eligible to participate in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Providers also receive small rewards, such as "goodie bags" that contain children's books, activity guides, child safety items, etc. donated by public and private partners. Training completion and provider satisfaction are tracked and measured by the state CCR&R. The state CCR&R finds that the greatest challenge is getting relative care providers to the training itself. However, once there, providers report high levels of satisfaction for the content as well as peer-networking opportunities and links to community resources.
State contact information:
Janet Carter, Education Specialist
Delaware Department of Education, Early Care and Education Office
Evelyn Keating, Associate Director
Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood, University of Delaware
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