Educare training helps extended family provide quality child care

On Thursday, Nov. 19, MARC’s Department of Early Learning will provide a course focused on kinship care. This is an online class starting at 6:30 p.m. and ending at 8:30 p.m.

This course is part of MARC’s Educare initiative. The Educare initiative provides resources, training opportunities and technical assistance to child care providers with an emphasis on family home providers. Aimee Alderman, who has taught Educare curriculum for more than 10 years, will lead this course.

“Kinship care really is about families providing child care services. It could be a grandparent or aunt. The definition could even be extended to friends and neighbors,” said Alderman. “During this training, I really want to talk about the rewards of kinship care. The research really does bear out that kinship care is great for kids because children can spend time in their support network.”

Since COVID-19 hit the United States, many families have relied on close family and friends to create unique child care and educational arrangements. While most Educare trainings focus on family home providers, this course is open to the larger public.

During this course, Alderman will present research demonstrating the value and rewards of kindship care. Participants will also have an opportunity to discuss the value of kinship care based on personal experience. Due to the nature of kinship care, parents and the family or friends providing child care may need to discuss the unique challenges. Throughout this course, participants will learn positive communication techniques, how to build empathy and how to establish healthy boundaries.

“We often take for granted the people we love the most, so kinship care has some unique challenges,” said Alderman. “How can we — parents and the relatives providing child care — have our needs met so we feel respected on both sides? This course will help families learn how to set boundaries so we can reduce the number of hard conversations that come up over time.”

Educare funding is provided by the Missouri Department of Social Services, Children’s Division, Early Childhood Section. MARC administers the Educare program in Cass, Clay, Jackson, Platte and Ray counties.