`Family day care' needs to be improved, says national report

PRESIDENT Clinton's proposal to send welfare recipients to work after two years would dramatically increase the need for quality child care in poor neighborhoods, a new report says.

About 4 million young children spend each work week in ``family day care,'' defined as child care provided in a care-giver's home rather than at a day-care center or school.

``Most providers of child care in low-income neighborhoods lack training,'' says Mary Larner, author of ``In the Neighborhood: Programs that Strengthen Family Day Care for Low-Income Families.'' The report is sponsored by the National Center for Children in Poverty at Columbia University in New York.

Although a recent study by Families and Work Institute in New York found that family day care is often of poor quality, this report is more hopeful. Dr. Larner provides guidelines for state regulations; assistance in ap-plying for funding, among other services; and case studies of 10 successful programs that offer training.

In Medford, Ore., for example, Child Care Unlimited helps place more than 100 children of farm workers with registered family day-care businesses each year.

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