Why We Care about Friend, Family, and Neighbor Care

A Message from the Kate B. Reynolds Trust 


Our Great Expectations initiative works to ensure that children in Forsyth County enter kindergarten ready to learn and leave set for success in school and life. We believe that listening to and learning from our community is an essential part of everything we do.

Through this listening process, we have learned that families experiencing poverty in Forsyth County—often families of color—have not had a strong voice in decision-making when it comes to addressing the needs of their children. 

That’s why we asked Compass Evaluation and Research to conduct this Family, Friend and Neighbor Care Study. Compass surveyed over 1200 parents and over 300 caregivers in Forsyth County to learn more about informal child care arrangements. We wanted to understand parents’ preferences and challenges, find out why only 34% of young children in the County are enrolled in licensed and regulated care—and discover what parents need most regarding child care. 

“We learned that there aren’t obvious, easy, or straight-forward decisions when choosing child care.  This especially is true for lower-income parents, who may struggle with the accessibility and affordability of care arrangements,” says Dr. Laura Gerald, President of the Kate B. Reynolds Trust.

Why this matters

  • There are over 27,000 children ages birth through five in Forsyth County, located in over 143,000 households. 
  • For two-thirds of these children, child care arrangements include care by parents/guardians, trusted relatives and friends, and/or part-day/part-week child care .  
  • Parents work to find the solution which best fits their situation, however the resulting child care arrangements may not meet all their goals.

The Kate B. Reynolds Trust is now working to analyze the data and determine how to best support families and caregivers in informal childcare arrangements. We look forward to sharing what we learn and continuing to work with all of you to improve child care in Forsyth County.

To learn more, you can access the full report here.