Bright Start TN Clearinghouse


Shared Services Alliances and Micro-center Networks

What is it?

Child care provider networks are strategic partnerships that allow child care providers to share costs and deliver services in a streamlined and efficient way. For example, providers can pool resources to support hiring centralized staff for administrative support. Mirco-center networks involve multiple one-classroom child care centers located in existing public schools, hospitals, office buildings, or community centers. The ideal situation is for the school or private business to pay for the space, facility, and equipment costs, which lowers the administrative costs for providers. Each micro-center is under the leadership of a Network Hub. All administrative tasks such as enrollment, billing, and licensing are handled by the Hub central staff. Teachers in micro-centers are employees of the Hub and have access to benefits, an internal career ladder, and professional development support. 

What is the evidence base?

Child care provider networks are cost-effective because they allow providers, especially in low-income neighborhoods, to share the financial burden of operating high-quality programs. Additionally, it enables providers to outsource administrative tasks, spend more time with children, and make their businesses stronger, more accountable, and better equipped to deliver high-quality services. Micro-center networks allow providers to recruit and retain effective staff and deliver care at an affordable cost. 

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