ERIC Number: ED476954
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Reference Count: N/A
Sparking Connections: Community-Based Strategies for Helping Family, Friend and Neighbor Caregivers Meet the Needs of Employees, Their Children and Employers.
Stahl, Deborah; O'Donnell, Nina Sazer; Sprague, Peg; Lopez, Marta
This report is the first step in a multi-year effort to identify and demonstrate community-based strategies for helping family, friend, and neighbor caregivers meet the needs of working parents, their children, and employers. Information for the report was obtained through interviews with experts, employers, employees, and their caregivers. The introductory section defines family, friend, and neighbor care and suggests that family support strategies may be an effective framework for addressing quality. The remainder of the report is presented in four sections. Section 1 presents highlights from interviews and suggests promising strategies for sharing information, connecting caregivers, and creating community connections. Interview findings reveal that many parents chose informal care because it was the only option with the flexibility needed to help parents meet their job responsibilities. Many informal caregivers felt isolated and lacked easy access to information about child development and early learning, peer connections, and educational materials. Many excellent community resources are not well-coordinated, known, or accessible to working families, caregivers, or employers. Retail managers appreciated the child care challenges their employees face and want to help, but did not know how to connect with community resources. Experts noted that informal caregivers can have unique strengths and challenges. Section 2 describes model initiatives focused on improving the quality of informal child care. Section 3 delineates recommended actions by communities, retailers, policymakers, and funders to improve informal care. The concluding section of the report suggests a range of public policy questions for investigation. Appended are lists of potential partners for making community connections, suggested actions, and experts contributing to the report. (Contains 12 endnotes.) (KB)
Descriptors: Caregiver Attitudes, Child Care, Child Caregivers, Childhood Needs, Employed Parents, Employer Attitudes, Employers, Family Needs, Family Work Relationship, Models, Program Descriptions, Public Policy, Research Needs
Families and Work Institute, 330 Seventh Avenue, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10016-7503. Tel: 212-465-2044; Fax: 212-465-8637; Web site: http://www.familiesandwork.org.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: A.L. Mailman Family Foundation, Inc.
Authoring Institution: Families and Work Inst., New York, NY.