Currently, 1/3 of childcare sites in Pima County are “home-based care” settings in which early childhood professionals care for children in their home. Make Way for Books provides coaching, books and resources, as well as ongoing Community of Practice to build early childhood professionals’ knowledge-base and give them skills to implement higher-quality literacy and language practices with children. Our model was recognized as an exemplary practice by First Things First’s Quality Assurance Team, for its innovative strategy to provide a culturally responsive service model to home-based providers.
Our Cuéntame Collaborative provides multiple strategies to ensure young children have quality early literacy and learning experiences in home-based care settings as well as with their families. Through books and stories, Cuéntame builds community among participants and affirms their roles as learners and teachers. We intentionally select and share books to elicit meaningful collective inquiry, to foster connection and community, to affirm cultural identity, and to connect children, families, and educators in a positive, welcoming, and culturally-responsive environment. We emphasize that bilingualism and biliteracy are assets to children’s literacy development and early learning as well as throughout their lives.
In 2020, we adapted our model to new online platforms. Through workshops, coaching, bilingual and multicultural books, and specific strategies, home-based care providers become part of a connected learning community of their peers and are able to take on their powerful role in supporting the early literacy and language development of young children in their care.
Learn more about the experiences of home-based care providers in our Cuéntame program here: https://youtu.be/rHedwa75v2k