The FCCP program provides services to licensed family home childcare providers across the state of Alabama. A major reason to target Alabama’s family child care providers as a population is because large segments of this audience are hard to reach. The “hard-to-reach” providers share several common characteristics. First, because the family child care provider is the owner as well as the primary (if not the only) person providing care, a provider may frequently work more than 60 hours per week. Second, an estimated 70% of providers live outside of the state’s major population centers–many in rural townships or communities, and some in fairly isolated settings. This presents barriers to transportation and frequency of contact with other providers. Third, family child care workers are some of the lowest paid workers in our economy and find it challenging to consider doing “more” than they already do.
As a result of these characteristics, family childcare providers often report difficulty in attending trainings and professional development courses held at local and regional childcare training agencies or community colleges. Travel distance to training sites, times the trainings are offered (during “normal” business hours or early in the evening), and/or expenses involved (e.g., for travel, substitute care, course/training fees) can unintentionally keep providers from attending. FCCP was designed to address these barriers.