Hunter Army Airfield, Ga. – The installation celebrated the opening of the first Family Child Care campus on post in over seven years with a ribbon cutting ceremony, March 16.
The Family Child Care program is an extension of the installation Child Development Centers, which allows families to offer quality, certified childcare from their homes.
“The Family Child Care program is an extension of the Child Development Centers. So the services, training, inspections and integrity of the program are the same,” said LaRyta Patterson, Family Child Care director. “We also have constant monitoring and supervision of the providers.”
In order to get your home certified and prepared to run a FCC, there are several steps. Each applicant must go through family interviews, background checks for everyone over 12, extensive training and several certifications for health, safety and nutrition. Once meeting the requirements, the Parent Central Services office will begin enrolling children.
This capability not only offers military spouses an opportunity to generate an income, but improves the military community’s access to childcare.
“Providing quality, certified, qualified child care is a massively important capability that every Army post offers to their community,” said Lt. Col. Stephan Bolton, Hunter Army Airfield garrison commander.
According to Bolton, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the capacity of childcare centers. Therefore, the FCC program can help alleviate any waitlists at the CDC. Additionally, these services offer a more convenient option for families within the community.
“What they are doing here is helping to create a sense of community by connecting families by delivering a service right here in the heart of the neighborhood,” Bolton said.
Kyrala Kimmons, opening the new FCC campus on Hunter Army Airfield, stated she had two main reason for deciding to become a provider. She missed being in the workforce and wanted to be around for her children. This provided her the opportunity to accomplish both.
“You miss the excitement of doing something for yourself but you also don’t want to leave your kids or feel like you’re missing out on things and I wanted something where I could do both, contribute to my family and be there for my children,” Kimmons said.
After the ribbon cutting, Kimmons gave advice to families thinking about opening a FCC.
“If you do choose to become an FCC provider, I want you to know that it is demanding and you have to love these kids,” Kimmons said. “You are taking someone else’s most prized possessions into your home and you have to care for them as if they were your own children.”
If you are interested in opening a FCC campus on Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield, please contact 912-767-7326 for more information.