Ideal Learning Providers in Action

All Our Kin

High-quality home-based family child care in Connecticut and New York City.

All Our Kin, supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and New Haven Investment Fund, works with and trains over 600 family child care providers every year, most of whom are female and ethnically diverse. All Our Kin helps aspiring providers, like Lottie Brown, turn great ideas into reality.

Lottie wanted to start her family child care business, Krayola Park, after realizing so many children in her New Haven community experienced trauma before they entered kindergarten. As a family child care provider, she thought she could intervene earlier, supporting infants and toddlers and their families in a more intimate way to facilitate healthy development. All Our Kin provided coaching and guidance as she worked her way toward certification and accreditation, helping her start a family child care business focused on providing support and enrichment to achieve better childhood outcomes.

Through supporting family child care providers like Lottie, All Our Kin serves more than 3,600 children in Connecticut and New York City, most of whose families qualify for public assistance. All Our Kin does not own or operate any of these family child care businesses but rather supports providers in a number of ways. For example, All Our Kin provides Early Head Start programs in family child care centers with visiting nurses, parent advocates, and educational consultants. Additionally, All Our Kin’s Provider Showcase Program supports women running family child care businesses and links families in the community to affordable, local, high-quality child care.

Lottie Brown herself is a graduate of the Provider Showcase Program. Krayola Park is a family child care business licensed by the state of Connecticut that provides affordable, high-quality care for children from infants to preschoolers in a home-like environment.

The Provider Showcase Program aligns with the key principles of Ideal Learning in delivering developmental education to our youngest learners. Children in the All Our Kin Provider Showcase Program develop skills through thoughtful interactions with their peers and teachers, skills that set them up for success in school and beyond. For instance, they learn emotional regulation through responsive relationships with adults, and cultural awareness through experiences, including field trips, that celebrate the diversity of the community through food, language, and stories. Across the All Our Kin Provider Showcase Program, children learn and interact with different-aged peers. The mixture of ages allows children to receive care from the same adult over several years, building continuity of care and strong adult–child relationships. Also, it means that siblings can stay together, and younger children get the benefit of learning from older children.

All Our Kin’s Provider Showcase Program celebrates family child care providers’ dedication to quality and offers providers pathways for raising program quality, such as resources, training, and support for meeting standards set by the National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC). Family child care providers who participate in the All Our Kin Provider Showcase Program have already taken several steps to ensure high-quality care for children in their program, including gaining licensure and liability insurance, completing a minimum of 45 hours of educational coaching with All Our Kin, and participating in All Our Kin’s 10-session Business Series and/or other professional development offerings. When participants complete the Provider Showcase Program, they have completed 120 hours of professional development within the last three years and either have an active NAFCC accreditation or are in the pipeline to gain it.

To support family child care providers who are not yet licensed, All Our Kin’s Tool Kit Licensing Program provides materials, mentorship, and support for meeting health and safety standards, fulfilling state licensing requirements, and becoming part of a professional community of child care providers.

Research on All Our Kin’s impact on provider preparation and quality has shown that All Our Kin providers score, on average, over 50% higher on research-based measures of quality than non-All Our Kin providers. Moreover, there’s an added economic benefit to the local community: the Tool Kit Licensing Program has resulted in approximately $12.6 million in annual tax revenue. All Our Kin works to ensure that those results are sustained by supporting providers’ continued professional development, education, and business practices, as well as making frequent site visits.

The commitment to providing high-quality care is a lasting one for graduates of the Provider Showcase, with many graduates continuing participation in quality checks, observations, professional development attendance, and even returning to train new participants. As Lottie Brown says, “Professional development gives me a sense of pride. It’s an achievement when you reach that goal, and you want to maintain it. It gives you a sense of standards and helps me provide a better level of quality.”

All Our Kin focuses on empowering communities to train diverse, high-quality early childhood educators and entrepreneurs who lift children to greater heights through effective early childhood development. All Our Kin is helping make the ideal real for more children.