Working parents' need for home-based family childcare services in Delaware County, New York State
This position paper examines the causes of and solutions needed to address the decrease of licensed childcare providers for working parents in Delaware County, New York State. The Welfare Reform Act of 1996 and subsequent family policies, coupled with scientific research on child development, challenge perceptions of the childcare provider's job description and training requirements. In Delaware County childcare may be an "invisible" business, that acts as a babysitting service, with little economic value. Solutions and family friendly policies are reviewed here to identify key elements needed to address the multiple issues that influence the parent's decision to use childcare, an individual's decision to enter the childcare profession, and the County civic leadership's decision to invest in childcare services as an industry crucial to Delaware County's economic vitality. Implementation and maintenance of a solution require participants from each sphere within the bio-ecological family system (Bronfenbrenner, 1979) to collaborate as stakeholders.
0518: Preschool education