Informal Child Care in Detroit
In November 2016, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) began a year-long initiative to support child development in Detroit, Michigan. The Hope Starts Here: Detroit’s Early Childhood Partnership initiative was designed to reduce vulnerabilities caused by economic and social inequity through community engagement, stakeholder collaboration, and research. As part of this initiative, WKKF partnered with Mathematica to conduct a review of the informal child care landscape in Detroit. Mathematica provided WKKF with information on the characteristics, experiences, and needs of parents and their informal child care providers. Specific project activities included interviews with program staff and other key informants to learn about existing informal child care programs and networks and site visits to organizations and programs that provide services for parents and informal child care providers in Detroit. During the site visits, the Mathematica team interviewed parents and caregivers to learn about their experiences with informal child care, their child care arrangements, and their social support networks. Mathematica prepared three briefs to summarize project findings for WKKF, the Kresge Foundation, community leaders, program staff, parents, child care providers, and other stakeholders. The first brief highlights the role of informal child care in Detroit and Wayne County, Michigan; the second describes care arrangements and parent and informal caregiver social support networks; and the third discusses barriers to children receiving high quality care and offers recommendations for overcoming them.