Child Care and Early Education Research Connections

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Home-Based Early Care and Education


The purpose of the Home-Based Child Care Workgroup is to provide a learning community for researchers, federal and state staff, and technical assistance providers interested in understanding the characteristics of home-based child care providers, the quality of care children receive in home-based settings, and the quality improvement strategies that are most effective with this diverse group of providers. For the purposes of this workgroup, the term "home-based child care providers" includes licensed family child care, unlicensed or license-exempt providers, and family, friends and neighbors.

The working group meets quarterly to discuss issues of relevance to home-based child care providers and to share information from recent research. The working group relies on data from the National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE) which offers nationally representative data on home-based child care providers, including those who are listed in state licensing or registration records and those who are not included in any formal listing of providers. The 2012 and 2019 NSECE can be used to support data analysis and address policy relevant questions about home-based child care providers.

The workgroup is funded through the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and managed through a contract with Child Trends.

Key Topics

  • Using national and state-level data to understand the diversity of home-based child care providers

  • Developing terminology to describe home-based child care providers

  • Identifying strategies to support quality improvement

  • Understanding the decline in licensed family child care providers

  • Identifying gaps in the research base on home-based child care

Products and Relevant Research

A Conceptual Model for Quality in Home-Based Child Care
OPRE Report 2019-37
Amy Blasberg, Juliet Bromer, Courtney Nugent, Toni Porter, Eva Marie Shivers, Holli Tonyan, Kathryn Tout, Bobbie Weber


Amy Blasberg (
Research Scientist, Child Trends

Holli Tonyan (
Associate Professor, California State University


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