NATIONAL WOMEN’S LAW CENTERMARCH 2021SustainingFamily, Friend,and NeighborChild CareDuring and AfterCOVID-19:Survey FindingsINTRODUCTION“Now more than ever we need to fund theeducation that is taking place right in the homesof family members and friends who have openedtheir doors to provide essential child care.”—FFN-supporting organizationMillions of families rely on family members, friends, andneighbors to care for their children every day while parentsare at work, attending school, searching for a job, orundertaking other responsibilities. These family, friend,KYRA MILLER and KAREN SCHULMANand neighbor (FFN) providers make it possible for parentsto participate in these activities and ensure their childrenare safe and well-cared for in a nurturing environment. Manyfamilies choose FFN care because they want someone theyknow and trust to care for their children. Additionally, parentsworking nontraditional hours, like nights and weekends,may turn to FFN care because it is the only option flexibleenough to accommodate their schedules. Families withchildren with disabilities may also prefer FFN providersSUSTAINING FAMILY, FRIEND, AND NEIGHBOR CHILD CARE DURING AND AFTER COVID-19: SURVEY FINDINGS1

NATIONAL WOMEN’S LAW CENTERbecause they can offer one-on-one attention to theirMany FFN providers are related to the children in theirchild. Low-income families frequently choose FFN carecare, and relatives (other than parents) caring for childrenbecause they cannot afford more formal options, such asare most typically grandparents. According to the 2016a child care center, family child care home, or preschool,National Household Education Survey, 24 percent (5.2which are typically more expensive.million) of children under age six were regularly inFFN care is used by families of all races and ethnicities, ofall income levels, and with children of all ages.1 FFN andother home-based providers, in fact, outnumber centerbased providers and collectively serve more children.There were 3.77 million home-based providers caringfor approximately 7.15 million children under age six ona regular basis, according to the 2012 National Surveyof Early Care and Education.2 In comparison, there wereapproximately 1 million providers employed by 129,000center-based programs serving 6.98 million childrenunder age six.3 The vast majority (97 percent) of thehome-based providers were unlisted (did not appearon any state or national lists of licensed, regulated, orrelative care (care by a relative other than a parent); incomparison, 13 percent (2.8 million) were regularly innonrelative home-based care (care in a private homeby someone not related to the child) and 35 percent(7.5 million) were regularly in center care. And of the5.2 million children under age six who were regularly inrelative care, 79 percent (4.1 million) had a grandparentas their primary relative caregiver, 13 percent (680,000)had an aunt or uncle as their primary relative caregiver,and 9 percent (470,000) had another relative as theirprimary relative caregiver.4FFN care is used by families of all racesregistered providers or of providers serving familiesand ethnicities, of all income levels, andreceiving child care assistance).with children of all ages.Primary Relative Care Provider for Children Under Age Six Regularly in Relative Care, 2016U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, Early Childhood ProgramParticipation, Results from the National Household Education Surveys Program of 2016. Data are for children birth through age fivenot yet in kindergarten. Relative care is care provided by a relative other than a parent. Total may not add up to 100 percent due torounding.SUSTAINING FAMILY, FRIEND, AND NEIGHBOR CHILD CARE DURING AND AFTER COVID-19: SURVEY FINDINGS2

NATIONAL WOMEN’S LAW CENTERWhile FFN care has long been a crucial piece of the childof households using center-based care dropped fromcare system, the pandemic has only further illustrated its29 percent prior to the pandemic to just 4 percent in May;necessity and strengths—as well as its vulnerability. Asuse of center-based care then increased to 20 percentthe coronavirus public health crisis unfolded, many childof households as of early September, but that remainedcare programs—of all types—were forced to close. Childbelow previous levels. Meanwhile, the percentage ofcare programs that have remained open to serve childrenhouseholds using home-based care declined from 28of essential workers or reopened as parents returned topercent prior to the pandemic to 17 percent in May beforework have struggled with a decline in enrollment that hasincreasing to 32 percent in early September, exceedingreduced revenues and new health and safety measurespre-pandemic levels.5that have increased costs. With many licensed/regulatedchild care centers and family child care homes closingdown because they cannot make the finances work,or limiting enrollment to allow for social distancing,“ many providers who are extended family suchas grandparents or other older relatives havebeen stepping in to care for children when otherand many parents reluctant to return their children tochild care has been shut down or closed.” —FFN-large group settings during the pandemic, more parentssupporting organizationhave turned to home-based child care. The percentageSUSTAINING FAMILY, FRIEND, AND NEIGHBOR CHILD CARE DURING AND AFTER COVID-19: SURVEY FINDINGS3

NATIONAL WOMEN’S LAW CENTERTrend in Percentage of Households Using Center-Based and Home-Based Care in 2020Center for Translational Neuroscience at the University of Oregon, Rapid-EC ProjectMany FFN providers continued—or started—to provideof FFN providers and organizations that offer supportcare during the pandemic, or cared for more children—to FFN providers. This report summarizes the findingssuch as school-age siblings of young children who hadof the survey, conducted between late July and earlybeen in their care or children from additional families. YetSeptember 2020, to offer insight into how the pandemic,many others stopped providing care out of health andthe recession, and access to supports have affected FFNsafety concerns for themselves, their own families, thecaregivers’ ability to provide care, and what strategieschildren in their care, and the children’s families; the riskwill help these crucial providers thrive in the future.of severe COVID illness was a particular concern in thecase of older adult caregivers. In addition, a number ofFFN providers halted their caregiving because parents nolonger needed care while unemployed or working fromhome. Those FFN providers that continued offering careoften struggled to obtain the supports and resources theyneeded to ensure the safety and well-being of themselvesand the children in their care.To examine the critical role of FFN providers before,during, and after the pandemic, assess the supportsthey have received in offering care, and identify theThe survey demonstrates that while some providers arereceiving financial and non-financial supports, most arenot receiving the full set of supports that they need tocontinue caregiving in a sustainable way during andafter the pandemic. Among the survey’s key findings: 57 percent of FFN providers responding to the surveywere still regularly caring for children other than theirown at the time of the survey, and 86 percent willcontinue to provide or resume providing care afterthe pandemic.additional supports they need to offer safe and supportive 51 percent of FFN providers surveyed reportedcare for children while ensuring their own well-being,that they received funding (subsidies), other thanthe National Women’s Law Center conducted a surveypayments from parents or other individuals, to provideSUSTAINING FAMILY, FRIEND, AND NEIGHBOR CHILD CARE DURING AND AFTER COVID-19: SURVEY FINDINGS4

NATIONAL WOMEN’S LAW CENTERchild care. But Spanish-speaking respondents wereabout half as likely as English-speaking respondents toreport receiving outside financial support to providecare. 38 percent of FFN providers surveyed had receivedORGANIZATIONS OFFERINGSUPPORTS FOR FAMILY, FRIEND,AND NEIGHBOR CARE PROVIDERStrainings and 23 percent had received home visitsWhile most FFN providers do not receivefrom an FFN-supporting organization or networktargeted supports for their caregiving, thereprior to the pandemic.are some organizations across the country 22 percent of FFN providers surveyed received helppurchasing food, 21 percent received grant funding,and just 2 percent received mental health supportduring the pandemic.that work with FFN providers to supportthem.6 These organizations—which may becommunity organizations, family resourcecenters, child care resource and referralagencies, or other non-profit entities, 76 percent of FFN providers surveyed said theydepending on the community—can serve aneeded cleaning supplies, and 52 percent neededrange of purposes depending on the needspersonal protective equipment to resume or continueof the providers, the children in their care,caregiving during the pandemic.and the communities in which they live. The Only 18 percent of FFN providers surveyed said theyregularly met or talked with other providers prior tothe pandemic.organizations may offer trainings, coaching,or facilitated play-and-learn groups toassist FFN providers in furthering children’slearning and development; offer equipmentand materials to help the providers offer asafe and enriching learning environmentto children; and/or connect providersand the families they serve to federal,state, and local resources and benefits.In states that have authorized collectivebargaining, unions can play an importantrole in supporting FFN providers, not onlynegotiating with the state on policies suchas payment rates for child care assistance,but also offering trainings, help navigatingthe child care assistance program, andadditional resources.SUSTAINING FAMILY, FRIEND, AND NEIGHBOR CHILD CARE DURING AND AFTER COVID-19: SURVEY FINDINGS5

NATIONAL WOMEN’S LAW CENTERABOUT THIS REPORTThe National Women’s Law Center collected the dataMassachusetts, Minnesota, New York, and Washington).in this report through a survey of FFN providers and aOf the FFN providers surveyed, 86 percent identifiedsurvey of FFN-supporting organizations. In late July 2020,as female and 64 percent of respondents were SpanishNWLC sent a survey to FFN-supporting organizations,speaking. Approximately half (49 percent) were Hispanicand then asked those organizations to send out a secondand/or Latinx, 42 percent were African American and/survey designed for FFN providers to the providers inor Black, 6.5 percent were white, and 1 percent weretheir networks. The surveys requested information aboutAmerican Indian and/or Alaskan Native. While the surveythe types and sources of support needed by, offered to,was largely targeted to license-exempt providers, 12used by, and/or unavailable to FFN providers. The surveypercent that responded were licensed and 10 percentalso asked organizations and FFN providers to report ondid not indicate whether they were licensed or not.any policy changes that the state had made since thebeginning of the public health crisis that affected FFNcare. NWLC partnered with Home Grown to developthe surveys, translate the FFN survey into Spanish, anddisseminate the surveys to both organizations’ networksof FFN-supporting organizations. Home Grown provided agenerous incentive to FFN-supporting organizations thatsent the survey to their own networks of FFN providers.Since the FFN providers that responded to the surveyreceived it from FFN-supporting organizations towhich they had some connection, the respondentsare not necessarily representative of the FFN providerpopulation at large, most of whom are not connectedto such organizations—whether because they do notneed access to the resources the organizations offer, donot have access to any such organizations, or are notNWLC received responses from 338 FFN providersaware of the organizations. Still, given that the surveyfrom six states (Arizona, California, Florida, Minnesota,participants come from diverse regions of the country andNew Jersey, and New York) and 11 organizations thathave diverse experiences and opinions, their responsesoffer support to FFN providers (license-exempt and/orreflect the range of challenges encountered and strengthsunlicensed home-providers) from five states (Arizona,offered by FFN providers.SUSTAINING FAMILY, FRIEND, AND NEIGHBOR CHILD CARE DURING AND AFTER COVID-19: SURVEY FINDINGS6

NATIONAL WOMEN’S LAW CENTERFAMILY, FRIEND, AND NEIGHBORCARE PROVIDERS’ DEDICATION TOPROVIDING CARE TESTED BY THEPANDEMICcare (25 percent of FFN providers surveyed); concern“I love children. This is my dream. I literallysafety supplies such as personal protective equipmentmiss my kids. I look at the pictures of them on(PPE), hand sanitizer, and cleaning supplies (5 percent);my wall and in my phone that the parents havefinancial reasons (5 percent); and/or state mandates tosent me. I look forward to getting back to mystop providing care (5 percent). Providers volunteeredlife, I was very happy. This isn’t just a job for me.”additional reasons for suspending their caregiving, such—FFN caregiveras that the parents were no longer working or a parentfor the health and safety of the provider’s family and/orthemselves (20 percent); children in the provider’s careno longer needing care (5 percent); lack of health andhad COVID-19.The coronavirus has affected families’ need for care, thetypes of care families prefer, and providers’ ability andwillingness to offer care. Through it all, FFN providers havedemonstrated their commitment to serving as caregivers.The majority (57 percent) of FFN providers responding tothe survey stated that they were still regularly caring forFourteen percent of FFN providers surveyed reportedthat they did not plan to resume providing care afterthe pandemic. These providers cited various reasonsfor that decision, including stress and continued healthconcerns for themselves and their own children.children other than their own at the time of the survey.7Survey responses from FFN-supporting organizationsAnd overall, 86 percent reported that they would continueabout the caregivers they work with reflect the variedto provide or resume providing care after the pandemic.decisions providers have made during the pandemic. TheProviders expressed a range of motivations for theircommitment to caregiving. Many are grandparents whoreported that they do it out of love for their grandchildren.Other relative caregivers similarly said they want to takecare of close family members. At least one respondentindicated that they did not trust anyone else to carefor their family members. Others planned to continueproviding care for financial reasons or to help parentswork.organizations worked with FFN providers that stoppedproviding care because of health concerns, that stoppedproviding care because families withdrew their children,that provided care to fewer children, that provided careto more children due to closures of other child careprograms, or that provided care to children of essentialworkers—and often worked with more than one of thesegroups of providers. As one FFN-supporting organizationwrote in response to the survey, “Some worked morehours, some worked less, some [were] overwhelmedDespite their commitment to their caregiving roles, manydue to circumstances around us.” One FFN-supportingproviders surveyed had to halt providing care at someorganization reported that some providers they workpoint during the pandemic. Forty-three percent of FFNwith pivoted from in-person care to providing onlineproviders surveyed temporarily or permanently stoppeddistance learning support to children.providing care during the initial stages of the pandemic.The most frequently cited reasons for the pause inproviding care during the pandemic (with providersallowed to report multiple reasons) included: concernfor the health and safety of the children in the provider's“I am taking all necessary precautions and I amcleaning and sanitizing my area daily and duringthe day, but it just won’t be enough and someonewill become ill.” —FFN caregiverSUSTAINING FAMILY, FRIEND, AND NEIGHBOR CHILD CARE DURING AND AFTER COVID-19: SURVEY FINDINGS7

NATIONAL WOMEN’S LAW CENTER“It was hard at first during this pandemic, makingAbout half (51 percent) of FFN providers surveyedsure that all the objects were clean and keepingreported that they received funding, other than paymentsthe children safe. Just not being able to go outsidefrom parents or other individuals, to provide child do extracurricular activities with the childrenThe most commonly cited form of outside fundingwas hard.” —FFN caregiverwas general child care subsidies for eligible families.Other types of funding reported by smaller numbers“The stress is too much for the children and theof respondents included child care subsidies to serveadults, too.” —FFN caregiveressential workers, the Child and Adult Care Food Program,FAMILY, FRIEND, AND NEIGHBORPROVIDERS VARY IN ACCESS TOFINANCIAL SUPPORTS FORCAREGIVINGSpanish-speaking respondents were about half as likely“The financial support FFN caregivers need issurvey indicated that they received subsidies or othernot only to maintain their child care environmentfinancial supports for their caregiving, only 38 percent ofbut to maintain their homes, where all childSpanish-speaking providers indicated that they receivedcare occurs. They are paid minimal wages bysuch support.and grants and English-speaking respondents to report receivingoutside financial support to provide care. While 74 percentof English-speaking FFN providers responding to theparents who can’t afford to pay more but whoalso have to work and need child care. We areable to provide educational materials, trainings,and support for the education of the childrenin their care, but especially nowadays theyneed basic support for things as simple as milkand toilet paper.” —FFN-supporting organizationSOME FAMILY, FRIEND, ANDNEIGHBOR PROVIDERS ACCESSSUPPORTS THROUGH COMMUNITYORGANIZATIONSMany FFN providers are able to access financial andnon-financial supports such as training and mentoring,Many of the FFN providers participating in this surveyopportunities to connect with other caregivers, andwere connected to FFN-supporting networks that couldhealth and safety information through organizationslink them to programs and resources and thus had greateror networks such as a child care resource and referralaccess to supports than many other FFN providers,agencies, social service agencies, or non-profitthe vast majority of whom receive no such organizations. However, the majorityStill, a large percentage of the FFN providers surveyedof providers responding to the survey had not beenlacked financial supports outside of payments fromreceiving supports through such organizations orfamilies, either because they were unaware of fundingnetworks prior to the pandemic, with Spanish-speakingopportunities, because they were ineligible, or becauseproviders less likely than English-speaking providers tohelp was unavailable.receive these supports.The proportion of FFN providers that reported participationin activities or receipt of supports through FFN-supportingorganizations varied depending on the activity or support.SUSTAINING FAMILY, FRIEND, AND NEIGHBOR CHILD CARE DURING AND AFTER COVID-19: SURVEY FINDINGS8

NATIONAL WOMEN’S LAW CENTERWhile over one-third of FFN providers surveyed reportedthey had receiving trainings from an FFN-supportingorganization or network, and nearly one-quarter receivedvisits to their homes to offer support, less than 5 percentreceived face-to-face peer support, health and safetyinformation, or help navigating licensing, subsidy, orquality rating and improvement systems through theseorganizations or networks.FAMILY, FRIEND, AND NEIGHBORPROVIDERS ARE OFTEN NOTCONNECTED TO OTHER CAREGIVERS“Many [FFN providers] are struggling financiallynow that they care for fewer children, or insome cases care for more children but arestill being minimally compensated. They areisolated and many have shared that if it weren’tfor the online trainings and networking ourprogram now provides they would feel lonelyand depressed.” —FFN-supporting organizationPercent of FFN Provider Survey Respondents Receiving Supports From FFN-SupportingOrganizations or NetworksSupport/ActivityAll FFN ProvidersEnglish-SpeakingSpanish-SpeakingTraining workshops38%48%32%Home visits23%31%19%Social media9%18%4%Materials and equipment7%15%2%Help offering nutritious meals7%13%3%Leadership/advocacy training6%12%3%Play-and-learn groups6%13%2%Face-to-face peer support4%8%1%Health and safety information4%6%0%2%6%0%Help navigating licensing, subsidy,and quality rating systemsWhile some providers are receiving financial and non-financial supports,most are not receiving the full set of supports that they need to continuecaregiving in a sustainable way during and after the pandemic.SUSTAINING FAMILY, FRIEND, AND NEIGHBOR CHILD CARE DURING AND AFTER COVID-19: SURVEY FINDINGS9

NATIONAL WOMEN’S LAW CENTERFFN providers could benefit from opportunities tosocialize and communicate with other FFN providers.Such opportunities could help improve providers’ mentalhealth and the quality of care they offer by allowingthem to exchange information, share ideas, discussstrategies for solving common challenges, and bondFAMILY, FRIEND, AND NEIGHBORPROVIDERS LACK SUFFICIENTSUPPORTS DURING THE PANDEMIC“I just want my children to be safe and havelearning materials.” —FFN caregiverover shared experiences with fellow caregivers. Yet, most“I just need help financially until the virus isFFN providers surveyed said they did not regularly meetover.” —FFN caregiveror talk with other providers.Just 18 percent of FFN providers surveyed said thatthey got together or regularly communicated withother caregivers outside of caregiving prior to thepandemic. Only 9 percent of respondents reportedphone conversations with other caregivers at least oncea week, 9 percent reported having outings with othercaregivers, and 7 percent participated in a Facebook pageor other social media groups managed by caregivers.The public health crisis, by limiting in-person gettogethers, only made interactions with other caregiversharder, and left providers more isolated at a stressful time.The majority of FFN-supporting organizations respondingto the survey reported that they no longer providedface-to-face services. Most of these organizations didtry to compensate by checking in with caregivers byphone and text more frequently, providing more onlinesupport, and/or providing more technical support tohelp caregivers take advantage of that online assistance.One FFN-organization has worked to build and sustainconnections among providers through a private Facebookgroup for all of its enrolled FFN caregivers. They use thisFacebook group to provide trainings, live sessions, digitalstory time, and virtual play-and-learn events. The groupWhile some FFN providers responding to the survey wereable to access crucial supports during the pandemic,including direct financial assistance for their caregivingand connections to assistance programs to help meettheir basic needs, most respondents received few if anysupports. Certain resources that are particularly crucialduring this crisis—such as mental health supports andsupport for children’s online learning—reached only asmall number of FFN providers surveyed. Several FFNsupporting organizations that responded to the surveynoted that their states’ efforts to support child care duringthe pandemic did not include FFN providers.Over one-fifth (22 percent) of FFN providers surveyedreported that they received help purchasing food duringthe pandemic. A similar proportion of respondents (21percent) received grant funding. Even smaller percentagesof respondents received cleaning materials (13 percent),information on how to keep themselves and the childrenin their care safe (13 percent), help accessing publicfunding (11 percent), supplemental child care subsidypayments (5 percent), training on supporting familiesduring the crisis (4 percent), or support for children’sonline learning (4 percent). Just 2 percent received helpdealing with stress or mental health support.allows caregivers to ask questions, exchange concerns,network with each other, and share photos and ideas.The group has existed for about 10 years, but it is nowused more than ever, with over 250 members activelyengaged.SUSTAINING FAMILY, FRIEND, AND NEIGHBOR CHILD CARE DURING AND AFTER COVID-19: SURVEY FINDINGS10

NATIONAL WOMEN’S LAW CENTERSimilar percentages of English-speaking and Spanish-Certain resources that are particularlyspeaking providers were able to receive most of thesecrucial during this crisis— such as mentalsupports. However, Spanish-speaking providers wereless likely than English-speaking providers to receiveinformation on how to keep themselves and the childrenin their care safe (9 percent versus 22 percent), buthealth supports and support for children’sonline learning —reached only a smallnumber of FFN providers surveyed.more likely to receive help purchasing food (25 percentversus 15 percent).Types of Supports Received by FFN Care Providers SurveyedFFN providers responding to the survey identified variousFFN providers learned about the supports available fromsources of the support they were able to receive. TheFFN organizations, state and local governments, andmost common source of support was state governmentother entities through a variety of channels. Nearly half(reported by 25 percent of survey respondents), followed(47 percent) received communications from a state orby local government (22 percent), friends or familylocal agency; 42 percent received information throughmembers (11 percent), networks or organizations (10the news media; 29 percent received information throughpercent), local nonprofits (6 percent), and the faithsocial media; 25 percent through other caregivers; andcommunity (1 percent).20 percent through a network or organization.FFN-supporting organizations responding to the surveyIn addition to being affected by the financial and othermentioned some specific initiatives they implementedresources they can or cannot access, FFN providers’to assist FFN providers during the pandemic. Oneability to offer care during the pandemic could also beorganization used local public and private funding toaffected by state regulations, whether designed to allowdistribute home and personal safety supplies. Anothermore flexibility during the crisis—such as temporaryorganization gave Visa gift cards to caregivers and workedincreases in the number of children a provider couldwith public library systems to distribute children’s booksserve without requiring licensing—or new health andin home requirements to ensure children’s and providers’SUSTAINING FAMILY, FRIEND, AND NEIGHBOR CHILD CARE DURING AND AFTER COVID-19: SURVEY FINDINGS11

NATIONAL WOMEN’S LAW CENTERwell-being during the pandemic. But most FFN providersFFN providers need a more robust array of supports indid not report any significant impact of state regulatoryorder to resume or continue providing care during thechanges—positive or negative—on their caregiving duringpandemic and to play their essential caregiving role longthe public health emergency. Just 15 percent of FFNinto the future. Necessary supports range from health andproviders surveyed reported that their state had madesafety supplies to mental health support. Many providerstemporary changes to regulations to make it easier tosimply require greater income and help meeting theirprovide care, while just 8 percent reported that theirown basic needs—including for food, housing, and healthstate made temporary changes to requirements for childcare. These supports are essential for the well-being ofcare that made it harder to provide care.the children and families they serve and themselves,the health and safety of the care environment, and theproviders’ capacity to offer nurturing care that promotes“There have been numerous ways the state hasstepped in to help centers and licensed providers,but FFN are typically unlicensed and do not haveaccess to these same resources.” —FFN-supportingchildren’s healthy development.Among the 43 percent of FFN providers who had not yetresumed providing child care at the time of the survey,organizationthe most frequently mentioned supports they needed“Our FFN caregivers were never mandated tobuying materials to protect children in the provider’s careclose their doors and many stayed open to careand the provider’s family (64 percent of providers whofor the children of essential workers. There arehad not yet resumed providing care); help purchasingsimply no programs in place to support themfood to feed the children in the provider’s care mealsas they provide essential care.” —FFN-supporting(42 percent); help accessing subsidies through state ororganizationlocal child care assistance programs (26 percent); helpto resume providing care included: help finding andaccessing other public funding (18 percent); increasedsubsidy payments (16 percent); access to COVID-19FAMILY, FRIEND, AND NEIGHBORPROVIDERS NEED ADDITIONALRESOURCES TO OFFER CARE DURINGAND AFTER THE PANDEMICtesting (13 percent); help finding activities to do with“Most FFNs are low income and caring for familyrequirements and instructions (12 percent).members. There is mental health stress andfinancial stress due to family members losingtheir jobs, so they lose their child care subsidy,which results in loss of income for many involvedalong with the additional fear of providing care ifthe provider has healt

NATIONAL WOMEN'S LAW CENTER SUSTAINING AMILY, , OR ARE DURING AND AFTER COVIDf19: SURVEY FINDINGS 5 ORGANIZATIONS OFFERING SUPPORTS FOR FAMILY, FRIEND, AND NEIGHBOR CARE PROVIDERS While most FFN providers do not receive targeted supports for their caregiving, there are some organizations across the country that work with FFN providers to support