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Creating Connections: How to Lead Family Child Care Support Groups

a book by Joan Laurion and Cherie Schmiedicke

(our site's book review)

This book tells how to organize a family child care support group, which is a small group of providers from the same local area who meet together, usually once a month, to socialize, share knowledge and experiences, help each other solve problems with children and parents, develop new leadership skills, and improve the quality of care in their community.

Itís all about creating connections with each other and leading family child care groups. It helps readers understand the following aspects of family child care groups better:

Community building
Shared leadership
Roles in shared leadership
Inclusive decision making
Facilitative skills
Creating an agenda and timekeeping
Alternatives to open discussion
Supporting providers taking action

The following are the community building activities the authors use in family child care support groups:

Eating together
Socializing
Having fun, playing games, and laughing together

The authors believe that in families, in family child care groups, and in family child care support groups, these activities are at the core of all other important growth and development together.

A family child care group brings together a small group of family child care providers from the same local area for socializing, networking, etc. A family child care association, on the other hand, is an organization used for political and organizational goals, such as to influence legislation and policy related to family child care. The authors go on to define family child care networks and family child care systems.

We applaud attempts to raise the overall quality standards of any kind of childcare, seeing that the average childcare quality is not very good.