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Carlton County surveys, focus groups aimed at 'informal' Family, Friend and Neighbor child care providers

The Northland Foundation and community partners in Carlton County, Lake County, Proctor, Hermantown and Duluth will be distributing surveys and hosting focus groups over the next six to eight weeks targeted at learning more about the needs of loc...

The Northland Foundation and community partners in Carlton County, Lake County, Proctor, Hermantown and Duluth will be distributing surveys and hosting focus groups over the next six to eight weeks targeted at learning more about the needs of local Family, Friend and Neighbor (FFN) child care providers.

FFN child care providers are people who, although they do not work in a licensed child care setting, regularly care for the young children of family members, friends or neighbors.

Data gathered through surveys and focus groups will assist in identifying, connecting with, and offering the type of services that best meet the needs of FFN care givers. The goal is to provide this often-isolated group of individuals with resources that will enhance their skills related to healthy early childhood development, early literacy, and school readiness. Strategies may include home visits, sharing of educational materials, and training opportunities.

A Carlton County Focus Group session will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, March 7, in the Early Childhood Rooms at Barnum Elementary School, 3813 North St., Barnum.

Lunch and child care will be provided.

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For more information on focus groups, contact Mary Lindgren, Carlton County Prenatal/Early Childhood Coalition, 218-389-0108.

The Northland Alliance for Family, Friend, and Neighbor Child Care Providers includes the Duluth Public Schools Early Childhood Programs, Carlton County Prenatal/Early Childhood Coalition, Hermantown/Proctor Early Childhood Programs and Coalition, and the Lake Superior School District along with the Lake County and Silver Bay Early Childhood Coalitions.

In addition to the Northland Foundation, partnership support comes from Child Care Resource & Referral-Region 3, the Duluth Public Library, Arrowhead Library System, United Way of Greater Duluth, Arrowhead Area Agency on Aging, and the University of Minnesota-Duluth. A grant of nearly $140,000 awarded by the Minnesota Department of Human Services is funding the 20-month collaborative project.

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