Families & Friends


Right now, more than half of children in the United States under the age of 5 are in some type of non-parental care.  The most common type of care is by family, friends, and neighbors (FFN care).  Infants and toddlers, regardless of family income or household structure, are predominantly cared for by family, friends, and neighbors. One state study in Minnesota, for example, found that 78 percent of children under the age of 3 were in FFN care (Chase, 2005). National studies show that nearly half of all children (under the age of 6) spend time in family, friend, and neighbor care (Boushey & Wright, 2004), and nearly a quarter of school-age children are cared for by FFN caregivers (Capizzano, Tout, & Adams, 2000; Snyder & Adelman, 2004).

Smart Beginnings Shenandoah Valley, encourage our families, friends, and neighbors to expand their understanding of kindergarten readiness and quality early care and education through a variety of shared training and community events.


For more information about Quality in Family, Friends and Neighbors Child Care check out the resources below:

Alliance for Family, Friends, and Neighbors Care

Quality in FFN Care