“All Our Kin didn’t change my program. It radically transformed my life.” That was the powerful message that Argentina Burbano, a family child care provider in Stamford, imparted to a group of more than thirty caregivers last Tuesday as they gathered together at Lehman College to welcome All Our Kin to New York City. Some had served children and families in their communities for over 20 years. Others were just starting their careers, eager to understand what resources might be available to support them as educators and business owners. All were excited to learn more about All Our Kin, and to join a community dedicated to the success of home-based child care providers.
Tuesday’s launch event marked a new phase of All Our Kin’s growth: the expansion of services to New York City, All Our Kin’s first site outside of Connecticut. All Our Kin’s New York team will work with family child care providers in the Fordham/University Heights area, and will serve as a hub for providers throughout the Bronx. The goal is to support a network of 150 caregivers, increasing the supply of quality child care so that all children and families have access to the high-quality early learning opportunities that help them thrive.
All Our Kin’s expansion comes at a critical time given New York City’s early childhood landscape. According to the 2016 report Bringing It All Home: Problems and Possibilities Facing New York City’s Family Child Care, New York City has one of the largest populations of children living below the poverty line, and home-based child care is the most common care arrangement for infants and toddlers receiving subsidized child care. In fact, 69% of New York City children under the age of 3 who receive subsidized child care are in home-based care. The prevalence of family child care in New York City was recently echoed in the New York Times article Don’t Mind the Day Care Downstairs, which paints a vivid picture of home-based child care programs as community assets, nurturing and strengthening children and families.
For the providers at the launch event, All Our Kin’s presence in the Bronx is an affirmation that family child care is pivotal to the early childhood infrastructure of New York City. The room buzzed with excitement and possibility. One provider expressed enthusiasm at the prospect of professional development opportunities that were not only tailored specifically to home-based care, but that sounded fun! Another commented that her 20+ years as a family child care provider have been difficult, tiring, and isolating; but, through All Our Kin, she was hopeful that she would finally get the support she needs to focus on the joy in her job.
These sentiments align with the vision that All Our Kin brings to New York City: family child care providers are valued for their work, equipped with the tools to succeed, and ready to share that success with the children and families in their care. “Our goal in New York City is to replicate the deep, transformative impact that Argentina experienced through her work with All Our Kin in Stamford,” said Natalie Kianoff, All Our Kin’s New York City Director. “The thirty providers at the launch event are just the beginning. We are excited to continuing building relationships in the community and working hard to support family child care providers in the Bronx and the children and families they serve!”
If you are a home-based child care provider in the Fordham/University Heights area of the Bronx, we would love to hear from you! Contact us to learn more about our supports and services in New York City by calling 914-348-1734 or emailing NewYork@allourkin.org.