Parents and caregivers (those caring for children in a family setting), particularly women, are limited in their ability to earn livelihoods if they do not have access to daycare and other necessary support systems. It is difficult for caregivers to work or attend school when they are caring for children who are young or have special needs. Caregivers who are elderly or ill often require respite. Daycare programs provide the caregivers within families with time to attend to other needs while giving children opportunities to play and learn.
Churches can offer daycare, giving children opportunities to grow and learn while freeing other family members to work or to attend school.
Support groups give parents and caregivers space to gather in a community setting, experience a sense of solidarity around shared challenges, and offer one another spiritual and emotional care. They give caregivers the opportunity to share their hardships and learn about how to better meet the emotional and developmental needs of children.
Programs that ease the burden on caregivers strengthens families and reduces the risk that children will be neglected, abandoned, or placed in an orphanage.
To see this strategy in action, read the story of Mission Community Church and Somebody Cares in Journeys of Faith pp. 28-32.