Out-of-School Time: Experiences of Family Child Care Providers

The Family Child Care Association is a non-profit association formed for the purpose of encouraging responsible childhood care and protection. It is designed to encourage families to retain and extend their love and care for their young ones. It is run by a volunteer board of directors elected each year from the membership. The board meets quarterly to discuss the year’s issues, make decisions as needed, and set up future objectives. A Parent of a Preschool Child organizes the annual conference of the FCCA.

At its annual conference, FCCA organizes activities focused on early childhood development from birth to age five with an emphasis on family child care. One activity focuses on the importance of early childhood education and development. There are also panels that address such issues as preventing obesity and other weight related diseases, preventing child abuse and neglect, preventing drug abuse and addiction and maintaining a healthy diet. A Parent of a Preschool Child organizes the Early Childhood Conference.

An organization dedicated to improving the nation’s childhood nutrition through family child care programs is The Pregnancy Treatment Program (PTC). It is a joint effort between the FCCA and the federal Department of Health and Human Services. PTC funds are used for community development, primary health care, after school activities and nutrition. Another organization of the FCCA is the Early Education Research Centre (EERC). EERC funds research aimed at ensuring quality education and care for children in low-income families.

For the third consecutive year, the FCCA will host the Annual Meeting in Toronto. This meeting is dedicated to planning and implementation strategies for child care programs for the coming year. Speakers at this event include Federal Minister of Health, Rona Ambrose; Canadian Parents for Drug-free Kids; Dr. Joffe de Jonge, Director of the National Drug Treatment Access Centre (NDTAC); Dr. John Martine, Director of the School-aged Childbearing Program (SACAP); Dr. Jennifer Loo, Executive Director of Familycentre; and Dr. Patrick Macraine, Director of Familycentre. Other guests will include members of government, child care providers, child care organizations and other stakeholders.

The fifth meeting is being organized by FCCA to provide an opportunity to children, their parents and other interested parties to get acquainted with how the organization continues its philanthropic activities. Simultaneously, delegates will be able to participate in a wide variety of workshops organized by the FCCA. These include FCCA’s 20th Anniversary Seminar on AIDS Prevention, an Informaci Nacional per le Extranjeros, the FCCA Annual Meeting on Working With Teens, and FCCA Annual Meeting on Working with Latinx Students. Also, FCCA will be hosting a Special Session on the Effects of Video Games on Kids. The Special Session will be conducted jointly with the American Psychological Association (APA), the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAPPI). Special sessions like these are designed to generate ideas from different practitioners and experts on how to best work with children in dealing with developmental disorders such as autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, attention deficit disorder (ADD) and other related issues.

In addition to the aforementioned conferences and workshops, FCCA has also set up a Development Fund that aims to serve low-income families in helping them build stable homes and pursue a rewarding career. Through this program, family child care providers are expected to contribute towards providing services to vulnerable individuals, experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless. FCCA will then share its experience and results with the community throughout the year on how family child care providers can use their marketing strategy to further expand their reach and improve services to those in need.