Family, Friend, and Neighbor Providers

Family, friend, and neighbor (FFN) providers include grandparents, aunts and uncles, elders, older siblings, friends, neighbors, and others who help families by providing child care. Both in Washington and around the nation, FFN care is the most common type of child care for infants and toddlers and for school-age children before and after school.

FFN providers are instrumental in the healthy development of children. When FFN providers learn more about healthy child development and early learning, plan activities ahead of time, and ask for help and support of other providers, they affect children's development in positive ways.

While FFN care is different in many ways than other, more formal child care, certain things are common to all good child care options, no matter the setting. First and foremost, high-quality child care offers a safe, healthy, and fun place for children!

Who are FFN Providers?

DCYF has rules (WAC 110-16) for FFN providers who get Working Connections Child Care (WCCC) subsidy payments.

FFN providers are those who receive child care subsidy payments through WCCC and are:

  • Eligible relatives who provide child care in the home of the child or in their personal homes.
  • Individuals, who are not related to the child, who provide child care in a child’s home.

Requirements for FFN Providers

All providers, both relative and non-relative, must complete the following (no matter where the child care takes place):

  1. Create a user profile in WA Compass provider portal (This is the system that holds licensed and license exempt provider information)

  2. Create a user profile in MERIT (MERIT is the system that holds training and background check results for early learning providers) After the WA Compass registration is approved, directions for completing the Portable Background Check (PBC) which includes the federal fingerprint process will be sent.

  3. DCYF Electronic Attendance Tracking training

    1. Daily attendance in the electronic attendance system (enter start and end times for care provided to each child)
    2. Submit all daily attendance transactions at the end of each month through an electronic attendance system
  4. Subsidy Billing and Payment Training
    Complete the training on how to bill the state correctly.

Non-Relative and Cousin FFN Provider Requirements

  1. Health and Safety Training
    Non-relative (friend and neighbor) and cousin providers must complete Health and Safety Training within 90 days of the subsidy payment start date. Topics covered include, but are not limited to, Infant/Toddler and Adult First Aid/CPR, Safe Sleep, Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention and Reporting, child development, and safety of the home setting. With the exception of the Infant/Toddler and Adult First Aid/CPR, the training is free and online.

  2. Annual Health and Safety Visit
    The purpose of the visit is to make sure parents and providers are following new health and safety rules, to observe the provider’s interactions with the child, and to discuss health and safety habits. Within 12 months of the WCCC subsidy payment begin date and every year after that, the state will do a health and safety visit at the home where child care is provided by the non-relative or cousin. These are scheduled visits and the parent is encouraged to be there.