“Where My Child Is Loved”: Grandparent Child Care is Fundamental

A Study of Family, Friend, Neighbor (FFN), and Nanny Care in California - Part Three

Despite its prolific nature, family, friend, and neighbor (FFN) care is often characterized as “informal” care that exists outside the definition of high-quality early care and education. This framing erases the depth and consistency many such caregivers provide, and it devalues parents’ own understanding of quality.

Additionally, the “FFN” label creates ambiguity for the status of professional nannies and obscures grandparents (most often grandmothers) as the most common and vital FFN caregivers.

This report is the third and final release of our series. Our first report explored the types and combinations of caregiving arrangements that parents’ use for their young children, as well as the factors that drove their choice of caregiving arrangements, based on our 2022 parent survey. Our second report shared data from FFN and nanny caregivers themselves, drawn from surveys and focus groups: in addition to describing the scope and duration of caregiving arrangements, we took a novel look at caregivers’ self-perception and well-being.

In this release, we describe the findings from our final survey, a 2023 follow-up with parents who joined our study sample in 2022, and synthesize the findings from the study as a whole.

Suggested Citation

Powell, A., Adejumo, T., Austin, L.J.E., & Copeman Petig, A. (2024). “Where my child is loved”:  Grandparent Child Care is Fundamental. Center for the Study of Child Care Employment, University of California, Berkeley.