Millions of families rely on home-based providers to care for their children. Home-based child care providers are a critical connective tissue for families and communities at all times, and particularly when those families and communities are under stress due to a crisis such as the current COVID-19 health emergency.

Yet the supply of home-based child care had already steadily declined over the past decade, and the current crisis only exacerbates this situation, threatening the very existence of many home-based child care providers. Given the critical role that home-based child care providers play, the challenges they currently face, and the necessity of preserving this fundamental infrastructure during and after this crisis, it is imperative that federal, state, and local governments focus resources and supportive policies on home-based child care providers.

Federal, state, and local policymakers should adopt policies, make investments, and offer clear information to support home-based child care providers as they work to serve families and children, sustain their businesses, and maintain their own financial well-being. This fact sheet offers policymakers strategies for improving financial security for home-based providers unable to serve children during the crisis; improving financial support for home-based providers that continue to serve children during the crisis; protecting the health and well-being of home-based providers and children in their care; and ensuring home-based providers can receive and share information during the crisis.