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FCC: Program offers career, child care opportunities

Gabriel Apodaca plays with Cetoria Stanpley, FCC provider, last year. (File photo)

Gabriel Apodaca plays with Cetoria Stanpley, FCC provider, last year. (File photo)

Published: September 4, 2014

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (September 4, 2014) -- The Family Child Care program not only offers a way for Families to find quality child care providers who welcome children into their homes and offer safe child care services, but also provides a unique employment opportunity for those who wish to become providers.

FCC providers offer care for children ranging in age from 4 weeks to 12 years old, and each home is allowed two children under the age of 2, and four children 2 and older, and differs from the child development center because the FCC is a home-like setting run by Families on post, said Pam Williams, child, youth and school services director.

“Becoming a provider is a good employment opportunity because people can stay at home with their own children, and help out Soldiers and their Families while they work,” said Williams. “But the Army wants the highest quality of care for its Soldiers’ children, so training and support is provided for FCC providers.

“It’s also another means of income,” she continued. “They get reimbursed for the meals they provide for the children, and the program is a way to build professional status. Providers can attain child development associate credentials – skills they can take with them when they move.”

FCC providers can work regular workweek hours as well as weekend shifts and night shifts to cover the needs of working Soldiers and those employed by the Army. Positions are also available for full-day, hourly, emergency, before and after school, overnight care and special needs, added Vender Tabb, school age center director.

Applicants must complete 40 hours of orientation training in child development and must adhere to fire, health and safety requirements and inspections. Multiple additional elements must be completed before a home can be approved.

“Once providers are certified, they must complete a total of 13 modules in child development, two modules on child abuse identification, reporting and prevention, and an additional 10 special-needs care modules,” said Tabb.

Once everything is complete, Tabb said that providers will receive a Rainbow, which is a “decal they must put in their window to signal that they are approved FCC providers.”

When providers first enter the FCC program they receive a start-up kit that consists of items such as fire extinguishers, safety latches, door knob covers, a first aid kit, lock boxes for medicine and outlet covers, said Williams, so parents know that child safety is the No. 1 priority. 

The FCC offers patrons a “warm, Family atmosphere to meet their child care needs,” where children are cared for in a home on post, said the CYSS director.

“They are fed and have outdoor as well as indoor activities to promote learning and exercise,” said Williams. “Providers also receive a monthly program guide to assist them in planning activities that will enhance the growth and development of the children.

“It can be more convenient if there is a FCC down the street,” she said. “Plus, some parents, and children, like that siblings can stay together because our homes are a multi-age environment. They can play together, grow together and learn together.”

An added benefit of the program is the intimacy it provides since some parents may like the fact they know the one person personally who is watching their child, as opposed to multiple people, added Williams.

Training for prospective providers occurs quarterly and on demand. To begin the process of becoming an FCC provider, call 255-9108, or to enroll a child, call 255-9638.

This article was originally published at http://www.army.mil/article/133151/

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