FORT RUCKER, Ala. (August 16, 2012) -- The Family Child Care program on Fort Rucker is looking for providers to welcome children into their homes, offering safe child care services as well as employment for Family members.

FCC providers are needed for regular work week hours as well as weekend shifts and night shifts to cover the needs of training and working Soldiers. Positions are also available for full day, hourly, before and after school, overnight care and special needs, according to Vender Tabb, Family Child Care director.

The FCC offers patrons a "warm Family atmosphere to meet their child care needs. Children are cared for in a home on post. They are fed and have outdoor as well as indoor activities to promote learning and exercise," she said.

"Becoming a provider for children in the home 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," she added.

"It's also another means of income. They get reimbursed for the meals they provide for the children and it can be a good way to help out the community while building a professional status. They can attain child development associate credentials--skills they can take with them when they move to another base," she said.

The program differs from the child development center because the FCC is a home-like setting run by Families on post, according to Tabb.

"The ratio in the home is six children to one adult. Homes are warm and friendly and it can be more convenient if there is a FCC down the street. Parents also like the program because siblings can stay together. Because our homes run a multi-age environment, siblings are playing together, growing together and learning together," she said.

According to Tabb, 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.

Civilians who work on post but do not live on post are allowed to participate in the program, but all providers must meet United States Department of Agriculture guidelines for food and nutrition and are eligible to enroll in the program for meal reimbursement.

To get started, Tabb said that applicants must fill out an application packet at the FCC office in Bldg. 132. Depending on the background check, it takes anywhere from a few weeks to over a month for an applicant to be approved.

Tabb added that applicants must complete 40 hours of orientation training in child development and must adhere to fire, health and safety requirements and inspections to become a provider.

Multiple other 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," the director said.

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

Tabb displayed evidence for the need of more providers.

"There are currently eight houses on post providing in-home care, but Fort Rucker is allowed to have up to 40 homes. We need more providers," said Tabb.

Along with the sums that providers receive to take on each child and the USDA subsidies Fort Rucker offers monetary subsidies based on the care offered ranging from $100 for each full time infant to $35 for weekend or holiday care.

"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 Tabb.

"Providers also receive a monthly program guide to assist them in planning activities that will enhance the growth and development of the children," she added.

Training for prospective providers occurs quarterly. To begin the process of becoming an FCC provider, call 255-3446.