About the California Family, Friend, and Neighbor (FFN) Child Care Study

The Center for the Study of Child Care Employment is currently conducting a study of family, friend, and neighbor (FFNs) caregivers in California. In partnership with RAPID-EC, an initiative with the Stanford Center on Early Childhood, our study examines the child care that FFNs provide for children under age 6. 

We are interested in all types of personal child care arrangements, such as from unpaid grandparents or paid nanny shares. Through this project, we hope to learn more about caregivers’ experiences, strengths, and challenges. The study aims to a) uplift FFN caregivers and their value to families, and b) inform policy conversations around FFN caregivers.

Project Timeline

Phase One: Surveying Parents and Their Caregivers

In fall 2023, we surveyed approximately 2,400 parents about their experiences and preferences for child care arrangements. Many partner organizations supported us in conducting parent outreach. In particular, the California Child Care Resource & Referral Network* (Network), Parent Voices, and Parent Institute for Quality Education (PIQE) took on a leadership role. These organizations also provided vital input on the topics in the survey. 

Parents completed the survey and shared the values that drive their choices and the costs and challenges they face. Many also expressed a deep appreciation for care by grandparents, nannies, and other FFN caregivers. 

Following the parent survey, CSCCE and RAPID-EC conducted a survey of approximately 500 FFN caregivers. Many caregivers participated thanks to a referral from a parent who took our original survey. Additional participants learned of the FFN survey through outreach led by the Network and the Child Care Providers Union.

* While R&R agencies around the state helped promote the study, the following organizations participated in extended outreach locally:

  • San Diego YMCA
  • BANANAS Child Care Referrals and Resources
  • Del Norte Child Care Council
  • Siskiyou Child Care Council
  • Children’s Council San Francisco
  • Merced County Office of Education

Phase Two: FFN Caregiver Focus Groups

In early 2023, CSCCE will be conducting focus groups with FFN caregivers around the state. Participants who completed the survey may be invited to join. Using findings from the FFN survey, we will develop questions that delve into California’s caregiving landscape.

Phase Three: Parent Data Reflection and Follow-up Survey

Led by Parent Voices, CSCCE will gather an advisory group to reflect on the findings of the study, particularly from the parent survey. In addition, group members will help identify topics for further research in our follow-up parent survey. The survey will take place in mid-2023 in partnership with RAPID-EC.


There are no publications for this study yet. Please check back later.