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Family child care providers support 4th FW

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Aubrey Robinson
  • 4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
The 4th Fighter Wing Airmen & Family Readiness Center offers military members and Department of Defense civilians with an alternate child care option.

There are currently 11 licensed family child care providers on the installation.

"Family child care homes were designed to help with the overflow of the CDC wait list," said Cristy Barnes, 4th Force Support Squadron family child care coordinator. "If a parent on the list needs childcare immediately, they may contact me and I can help them locate an FCC home provider."

There are several steps potential providers must follow before FCC homes are open for business to include orientation, family interviews, reference checks and completing at least 24 hours of training. Once the process is complete, providers may open their homes to children and are subject to random inspections.

"The FCC coordinator, public health, the fire department and occasionally the parent board will come and inspect our homes," said Jeanette Going, FCC provider and spouse of Tech. Sgt. Wesley Going. "Parent disciplinary committees also visit throughout the year."

Most FCC homes are on base and the providers may offer care outside of the standard CDC hours. Many of these providers work around the hectic work schedules of military members and DOD civilians.

"Because some parents work at night, our hours can fluctuate between midnight and 5 a.m.," said Toni Phaneuf, FCC home provider and spouse of retired Tech. Sgt. Gary Phaneuf. "Whatever support the parents need is what I offer."

For some, having an intimate setting for children's development is another FCC home advantage. Providers become more in-tune with the children and build close relationships with family members.

"(One child) has been with me since she was 6 months old, so I got to see her crawl and take her first steps," Going said. "It's really exciting when you form a one-on-one relationship with the children. They become kind of like family."

The FCC is in need of more home-based providers due to the upcoming permanent change of station season, the amount of expecting families and a limit of six children per home.

"According to Air Force guidelines we have to have at least three percent of (base housing) available for FCC, which is about 14 homes," Barnes said. "Right now we only have 11 so there is a need for more FCC providers and definitely for infant care."

In recognition for child care providers nationwide, the Friday before Mother's Day marks Provider Appreciation Day. This day, May 11, is a time for parents and guardians to thank the providers in their life who assist in the development of their children.

For more information about FCC, contact the A&FRC at 919-722-7194 or the CDC at 919-722-1199.