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NECC Family Child Care Network: Taking family child care professionals from surviving to thriving

by Brandee Lengel, Vice President of Quality Child Care Partnerships, Nebraska Early Childhood Collaborative

The Nebraska Early Childhood Collaborative’s (NECC) staffed Family Child Care Network (FCCN) offers robust business and professional development tools to help family child care educators across the state stop just surviving and start thriving. NECC recognizes a growing need to support family child care educators as more family child care businesses across the state close their doors, reducing choice for families. Many family child care educators are isolated with little to no prior business training or experience and limited access to support.

The level of engagement is driven by the family child care educator with members self-selecting benefits, services and supports designed specifically for family child care businesses. The supports are organized into three tiers and educators can join the Network at any tier and access tools to strengthen their business and improve their program quality.

All supports are individualized, responsive and tailored to each  program. Best yet, all services and programs are offered free of charge. Below are brief descriptions of a few of the programs of NECC’s Family Child Care Network.

Wonderschool
Wonderschool’s platform is a one-stop shop to elevate and modernize a family child care business. This program helps family child care educators create a website, market their program online, process online payments, manage enrollments, communicate with families and much more. Wonderschool members receive access to: 

  • An easy-to-use website to advertise their program and market to new families 
  • Automated billing tools to streamline tuition payments and reduce bad debt
  • Online tour booking and enrollment management tools 
  • Event creation and marketing tools 
  • Parent messaging, communication and contactless attendance tools through a mobile app 
  • Curriculum resources, professional development opportunities and an active ECE community 


Business Training Series
NECC offers a 10-week Business Training Series in the spring and fall created by All Our Kin (AOK). The 10-session, 30-hour  series is designed to share innovative tools and strategies for supporting strong business development among family child care educators. By enhancing their business-related knowledge and practice, NECC business consultants will position family child care educators to raise their business efficiency and, in turn, focus more fully on giving children the high-quality early learning experiences they need and deserve.

After graduating from the series, participants have the opportunity to apply for individual business consulting. During consulting, select business owners will get the chance to explore and apply topics from the Business Series to their own program for an additional 10 weeks.

Licensing Toolkit
Modeled after AOK’s highly successful program, NECC’s Licensing Toolkit program provides materials, guidance and support to help unlicensed and potential providers fulfill state licensing requirements, meet health and safety standards and become part of a professional network for family child care business owners. Read more about the Licensing Toolkit in a separate blog post.

Nebraska Child Care Exchange
The Nebraska Early Childhood Exchange is a one-stop, web-based platform that includes templates for ECE policies, forms, regulations, guidance, discounts and more to save family child care educators’ time, reduce costs and improve quality.

For more information about NECC’s Family Child Care Network, please email fccn@nebraskaearly.org or visit the website at: https://nebraskaearly.org/fccn/.

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