Childcare Collaborative Toolkit & Guide

Schools across the country have closed, sending millions of children home with parents and caregivers required to shelter in place. Now that the shelter in place orders are being lifted, the need for childcare will be critical for working parents and caregivers attempting to return to work.

We are in the midst of a childcare crisis and we need alternatives to address it. While many are discussing mutual aid for basic needs, we are hoping to foster collective action regarding the care of children. Our goal is to support the creation of local childcare collectives that improve equity while minimizing the cost of childcare for families in our area.

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Childcare Collectives are a strategy to help communities prevent sexual and domestic violence by alleviating pressure in homes with children and increasing accountability by putting children in contact with a network of safe, healthy adults that can increase their access to bystander interventions.

What is a childcare collective?

A collective can be as simple as non-parenting people inviting kids into their home or to play at the park for a few hours a day. It could be a collective of neighbors exchanging days so that working parents/caregivers can get a few hours of uninterrupted work done. It could also be members of a staff team who stagger their hours to help care for one another’s kids at the office like at The Firecracker Foundation (TFF).

What is this toolkit for?

To help small groups of safe adults set up their own childcare collectives with the support of an organization invested in the health and safety of children and the economic equity of parents and caregivers. You will find key questions, suggestions about structure, best practices gleaned from collectives across the country, and other tools and resources.

Who is this toolkit for?

All people willing to provide or seeking access to safe and healthy childcare and/or child-centered extracurricular activities as a part of The Firecracker Childcare Collective and/or in the community.

This includes:

  • TFF staff, volunteers, and clients
  • Parents Caregivers
  • Nonparenting people
  • Organizations, small businesses, churches, etc.

While this toolkit is for everyone, at this time, The Firecracker Foundation can only provide background checks and support to childcare collectives in the tricounty area of Mid-Michigan.

This toolkit is only effective within the context of safe and healthy adult relationships, workplace environments, and community spaces.