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NEWS | Feb. 5, 2013

FCC home child care program wants you

By Airman Kimberly Nagle 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

While many factors may impact a Service member's ability to accomplish a mission, one of the most significant can be the safety and well-being of their children.

The Family Child Care program at Langley Air Force Base, Va., which augments the Child Development Center and School Age programs, provides a way to become child care providers through extensive training and qualifications.

The providers of the FCC program are able to offer the same care that child development centers can, but with a more one-on-one focus, as providers can only supervise a maximum of six children, including their own.

The program requires applicants to become certified and licensed for in-home care, and once accepted, they undergo initial orientation training.

"The training is a three-day orientation covering everything from becoming CPR certified to learning applicable Air Force regulations," said Hass.

When the applicant completes the orientation, they go through additional training and certifications, just to be considered a candidate. Once these are accomplished, Hass may then recommend the candidate to the final selection board.

Even after the provider is hired, the training doesn't stop. Providers must complete regular refresher courses and maintain all licensing qualifications.

"Monthly training, background and reference checks, and yearly license renewals are required for a certified caretaker," said Hass.

These qualifications are essential in order to provide the best benefit to Service members, including extended-duty care and returning-home care.

Active duty military personnel, reservists on active duty orders, DOD civilians and DOD contractors, living either on or off base are eligible to receive care through the program

"Any family with children between ages two weeks and 12 years is eligible," said Nancy Hass, Family Child Care Office child care chief.

One benefit the Family Care Center provides is to ensure children are cared for, no matter the time of day. The program offers providers with varying availability to encompass often unconventional the scheduling needs of Service members.

Price is another significant benefit of the program. Rates for care are set comparably with the prices of the CDC. The rates are based on of the family's income, and can be subsidized by the Air Force, said Hass.

While Service members may not feel comfortable leaving their children in someone else's care, Hass said they can be reassured that steps are taken to regularly monitor the caregivers.

"The providers are closely monitored with monthly visits that include observing how the provider interacts with the children, fire and safety issues and training," said Hass. "The program offers quality, dependable child care, allowing Service members to do the Air Force mission without worrying about your child."

If interested in applying to become a family child care provider or utilizing the program at Langley call Nancy Hass at (757) 771-7470 for Fort Eustis call (757) 878-5584.