FORT RUCKER, Ala. (Jan. 26, 2012) -- Fort Rucker Family Child Care offers new career opportunities with the added benefit of working from home as a child care provider on or off the installation.

The program is an option of child care provided by authorized military Family members and qualified civilians working as independent contractors, according to Vender J. Tabb, Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation FCC director.

Percillia Villanida, child care provider for FCC, explains how the program was an integral part of her life while in the military and as a civilian.

"I used to be in the military and I used an FCC provider for after hours, evenings and weekends," she said. "When I got out of the military to support my husband's career, however, [the program] gave me the chance to stay home and raise my children while starting a new career in child care.

"Although I was no longer in the military, I felt like I was still a part of the Army community," said Villanida. "I was able to work from home and got the opportunity to get excellent training and learn a professional skill."

All FCC providers must go through the FCC certification process, which includes: annual background checks for the applicant; training in child development; fire, health and safety requirements; caring for special needs children; child abuse prevention; CPR/first aid; and inspections and in-home screening interviews by the FCC director, according to Tabb.

"It's a profession and a huge responsibility," said Villanida. "And because it's a profession, I was able to get my child development accreditation, so, I can carry this with me into other child care settings and even continue my education into teaching if I want."

Another added benefit of the program, unlike other child care programs, is that the providers can care for children over extended periods of time if the parents must be away from their children for longer than during regular hours.

"Here at the FCC, we're in a unique position to care for the kids overnight, during evenings, over weekends or longer if needed," said Villanida. "A parent can really feel good that the child care that we offer flows right into extended care."

Benefits of this career, according to Villanida, are tremendous, ranging from flexible hours to being able to make money working from home while still caring for your own children.

"One of the big benefits of me being able to stay home and take care of the children at my home is that my own children also had the same child care that I was and still am able to provide other people's children while having friends that come play with them every day," she said. "I'm able to be involved in my children's lives and still earn an income from home, which is great.

"My children grew up in an FCC home and I look back and think of the time that they spent in the program and how it's served my Family well," she said. "One of the pluses is that I know that my children are going to be really good parents because they've seen me taking care of many children. I know when they have their own Family, they are going to know exactly what to do.

"Doing this job has made me feel empowered," said Villanida. "I'm able to help support my husband's career and it supplements our income."

The career that the program provides is a great opportunity for any parent that has hesitations about working outside of the home, said Villanida.

"The child care program is a chance for someone to stay home, raise your children and have a profession that you can grow with," she said. "I've been going on 13 years with this career and I've chosen to continue doing it because I love it, and the hand's-on with the kids is just great."