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Child and Family Resource Network provides services to child care providers, parents

Child and Family Resource Network staff
The Child and Family Resource Network staff consists of front, from left, Kendrix Johnson, April Flemming and Amy Trautner; back, from left, Pamela Emmett, Kami Bartels, Susan Plaine, Maria Pearson and Rachel Busmann. The CFRN has been at South Dakota State University for more than 30 years.

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Parents know finding quality child care is important and challenging. When parents cannot be with their children, it is critical they have high quality options for care.

For more than 30 years, the Child and Family Resource Network at South Dakota State University has been providing resources to address this challenge with information and training to users and providers of child care and their families. The CFRN, which was previously known as the Family Resource Network, is a state and locally supported early childhood enrichment program.

“Our mission is to educate about the importance of quality child care. Our training is child care-focused and parent-focused,” said Rachel Busmann, outreach coordinator for the CFRN. “We start where child care licensing ends and build from there. We are here to help everyone. Among child care providers, there is a misconception that they need to be registered to use our services and that is not true. We are here for the community.”

The network, which is known for providing parenting classes, also provides resources for all child care providers in South Dakota, which includes in-home day cares with 12 or fewer children, child care centers, care provided by relatives and youth development programs. In a calendar year, the network conducts approximately 680 hours of individual training both in person and online to hundreds of people across South Dakota.

The trainings offered focus on a variety of topics, including enrichment activities to support the development of infants to children age 12, Child Development Associate credentialing, first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation, social-emotional development and director management practices.

In addition to these classes and other individual trainings, the network has supported the development of a South Dakota-specific, online series to assist with meeting the training requirements for statewide child care providers. Approximately 10,000 providers are included in the system.

The CFRN is one of five early childhood enrichment programs in South Dakota serving providers and families. The CFRN also provides technical assistance, consultation and coaching to child care providers for a 13-county area in northeast, South Dakota. These services help bring research-based knowledge to practice.

“We really try to improve quality in those individual programs or providers’ homes,” Busmann said. “We can structure what we do based on where the provider wants to go in improving quality.”

For more information contact the CFRN at SDSU at 605-688-5730 or at www.sdstate.edu/CFRN.