Family, Friends and Neighbor Providers

Family, friend and neighbor (FFN) providers include grandparents, aunts and uncles, elders, older siblings, friends, neighbors, and others who help families by providing child care. Both in Washington and around the nation, FFN care is the most common type of child care for infants and toddlers and for school-age children before and after school.

FFN providers are instrumental in the healthy development of children. When FFN providers learn more about healthy child development and early learning, plan activities ahead of time, and ask for help and support of other providers, they affect children's development in positive ways.

While FFN care is different in many ways than other, more formal child care, certain things are common to all good child care options, no matter the setting. First and foremost, high-quality child care offers a safe, healthy, fun place for children!

New Rules for FFN Providers Accepting Subsidy Payments

Effective October 1, 2018, DCYF has new rules for FFN providers who get WCCC subsidy payments.

FFN, or in-home/relative providers are those who receive child care subsidy payments through the Working Connections Child Care program and are:

  • Eligible relatives who provide child care in the home of the child on in their personal homes.
  • Individuals, who are not related to the child, who provide child care in a child’s home.

Requirements for FFN Providers

All providers, both relative and non-relative, must complete the following (no matter where the child care takes place):

  1. Create a user profile in WA Compass provider portal (This is the system that holds licensed and license exempt provider information)
  2. Create a user profile in MERIT (MERIT is the system that holds training and background check results for early learning providers) and complete the Portable Background Check (PBC) which includes the federal fingerprint process.
  3. DCYF Electronic Attendance Tracking training
    1. Daily attendance in the electronic attendance system (enter start and end times for care provided to each child)

    2. Submit all daily attendance transactions at the end of each month through an electronic attendance system

Non-Relative FFN Provider Requirements

  1. Health and Safety Training
    Non-relative (friend and neighbor) providers must complete Health and Safety Training within ninety (90) days of the subsidy payment start date. Topics covered include, but are not limited to, Infant/ Toddler and Adult First Aid/CPR, Safe Sleep, Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention and Reporting, child development, and safety of the home setting. With the exception of the Infant/ Toddler and Adult First Aid/CPR, the training is free and online.

    If the non-relative provider has a current child care authorization and it ends on or:

    1. Before 12/31/18, training is not required. The provider may need to complete training later however, if the provider is re-authorized for care beginning on or after 1/1/19.
    2. After 1/1/19, your provider must complete training before 1/1/19. DCYF will contact your provider to start the process.
  2. Annual Health and Safety Visit

    The purpose of the visit is to make sure parents and providers are following new health and safety rules, to observe the provider’s interactions with the child, and to discuss health and safety habits. Within twelve (12) months of the WCCC subsidy payment begin date and every year after that, the State will do a health and safety visit at the child’s home with the non-relative provider.  These are scheduled visits and the parent is encouraged to be there. The twelve (12) months starts when the child care authorization has a payment begin date of 10/1/18 or later.

  3. Health and Safety Checklist
    The Health and Safety checklist is completed by both the parent and the non-relative provider. It allows them to review the items covered in the provider Health and Safety training, coordinate health and safety activities in the home including access to important emergency contact information and plans.