The Brookings Institution recently highlighted the importance of “informal care,” which is unregulated or lightly regulated childcare settings. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, more than half of all one and two-year olds receive care from someone other than their parents. Less than half of these children are in a licensed, formal care system. The reasoning for not enrolling in a formal care system ranges from “lack of information about quality, the need for flexible or non-standard hours, cost, and availability.”
There must be a focus on providing quality early childhood experiences for all children no matter formal or informal setting. If policies do not address quality in informal care, many children will fall behind in early development of crucial skills and capacities needed to thrive in school and after.
If you, or someone you know, need resources for informal care, The Young Families Program of Children, Inc. provides services around informal and early childhood care. The program is a free home visitation program in Kenton County that provides comprehensive supports to first time parents from the prenatal period until their child turns three and a half years of age. The program is designed to ensure an optimal start for children and their parents. The goals of the program are to ensure a healthy pregnancy, encourage positive parent-child interactions, increase child health indicators, ensure that children are on target developmentally, and to assist families to become self-sufficient. Visit Young Families Program for more information, or call Sue Milinkovich at (859) 491-9200