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COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL INTRODUCTION “They always come at the worst times.” “They disrupt my schedule.” From our discussions, we identified many of the key problems with visits to family child care in-home businesses. In response to your questions and concerns, we have developed best practices and skills to make these visits more productive and worry-free for you. Why Successful Visits Are Important We cannot overemphasize how important your job is. You need to be able to concentrate on the care of the children in your program. But you must also attend to the requirements of running your business. You need the skills that help you connect with visitors in positive ways. These skills will enable you to get the support, guidance, and training you need to enhance your program. Because of provider/visitor problems, subsidy programs are seeing reduc- tions in enrollment. The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is one of these programs; it is particularly important for feeding income-eligible children. Often the meals you serve are the only nutritious meals some chil- dren receive. When providers we spoke to were asked why they dropped out of subsidy programs, the most prevalent answer was this: you felt the visits were invasive, and you did not like the way the visitor enforced the regulations and requirements. This means a loss of income to you and a loss of impor- tant nutritional information, support, and resources for your clients. Clearly, the success of important programs like the CACFP depends a lot upon your having a good working relationship with the visitor. Why Providers Need Support Providers today are more independent and knowledgeable than in the past. You have access to many more high-quality training sessions. You can learn COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL xv