FCC needs at-home providers to care for children

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman S.I. Fielder
  • 347th Rescue Wing Public Affairs
The Family Child Care program is in need of at-home providers to care for Team Moody children. 

An alternative to center-based care, these child care providers offer options in government housing or affiliated off-base homes. 

"We have more than 100 children on the waiting list at the Child Development Center, so we need providers," said Rocanne Buckle, FCC coordinator. "We are always in need of providers who possess a great love for children." 

Child care cannot be provided in base housing for more than 10 hours per week on a regular basis without first becoming licensed or certified by the FCC. 

Interested people must first attend orientation classes sponsored by the FCC. Any person within a 25-mile radius of the base who is the spouse of an active duty, reserve or guard member, a retiree or civilian contractor may apply. 

"It's important they understand this is a job," she said. "They will be doing a job that requires them to provide developmentally-appropriate child care for children ages two weeks up to 12." 

They must be able to provide a safe, clean environment with the appropriate equipment, she continued. 

The FCC has a Resource Center available for potential providers to obtain everything they need, from toys and books to safety gates and chairs. Prior to starting the day care, however, all interested people must be at least 18, able to read, write and speak English, and pass a physical, background investigation and initial inspection. 

Once these basic guidelines are met, a 24-hour Air Force standardized training class is required. 

"They are required to meet all of the same requirements as the care givers at the CDC," said Mrs. Buckle. "There's no difference in their training." 

The training each provider receives includes Air Force regulations and policies, business operations, first aid, CPR, food handling procedures, safety and a series of self-paced training modules. 

"Not only do we give them guidance and support initially needed to become a provider, but we continue to assist them throughout their association with the FCC," said Nikki Bennett, FCC training and curriculum specialist. "We ensure they have a good understanding of what it means to be licensed providers." 

An important benefit of having at-home providers is children are cared for in smaller groups, allowing more one-on-one time with each child. Providers are also required to develop personalized lesson plans to help children in different areas of their development, such as social, motor or cognitive skills. 

"I became a provider because I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, while still making a little extra money," said Carla Johnson, a FCC licensed provider. "It won't get you rich quick, because if you're a good provider, you will end up putting half of what you make back into the programs for the children. 

"Although my own children started school last year, there's something about teaching other children that's amazing," she added. "It's very rewarding." 

The rewarding career also offers people without a degree the opportunity to make more money than they could with a minimum wage job, plus the costs of day care, said Mrs. Buckle. Although, the cost of care is based on the family's income, nationally accredited providers may receive up to $150 for each child they care for through the FCC's Subsidy Program. 

The FCC can help interested certified providers earn their national accreditation, said Mrs. Buckle. 

To sign up or for more information, call Mrs. Buckle at 257-3907 or 563-0729; or go to the 347th Services Squadron Web site at http://www.moodyservices.com/family_childcare.asp.