By Heather Kline
Family Child Care providers offer an alternative for families needing full, part-day or hourly care.
The program is a child-care option offered in homes on post by authorized military family members and qualified civilians working as independent contractors.
According to Sara Hendrix, Fort Leonard Wood Family Child Care director, the FCC has unique qualities that make it a preferred choice for military and Department of Defense civilian families.
Hendrix said she is passionate about helping others start their own FCC home businesses due to the shortage of child care on post.
“The FCC is valuable to service members who need child care for hours outside of normal operating hours. Extended hours are not only available for mission-related schedules, but it is also free for those families who qualify,” Hendrix said. “The program is also valuable for children who need a smaller environment in which to thrive while also promoting continuity of care for the children enrolled by allowing them to stay with one caregiver in the same environment as they transition through different stages of development.”
Per Army Regulation 608-10, the provision of FCC in government-owned or leased housing, or privately-owned family housing units located on the installation is a privilege extended to family members.
Only the best qualified among applicants who meet minimum standards will be certified. All other private child care is unauthorized in on-post housing.
According to the regulation, when unauthorized child care occurring in government-owned or leased housing is brought to the attention of Child Development Services, the following steps will be taken:
— FCC management personnel will visit the home within three working days to verify whether or not an individual is operating a FCC home without valid certification. FCC management personnel will not enter the housing unit without the consent of an adult occupant. If the occupant refuses admittance, the Provost Marshall will be contacted.
— If it is determined that care in excess of 10 child care hours per week is being provided on a regular basis, the individual providing care will be informed in writing within two working days after the visit by the installation commander of the violation and given notice to cease care immediately. Those individuals occupying government housing will be advised that their housing privileges may be terminated if the care continues.
Madison Bosanko, military spouse, has operated her own FCC on Fort Leonard Wood since April 2015. She said it took her approximately four months to be fully certified to open her child-care business.
“I chose to do FCC so I could stay home with my son until he started kindergarten. My FCC business allowed me to stay home while being able to provide income for my family,” she said. Bosanko said she would recommend this career to anyone who loves children.
According to Bosanko, it’s a rewarding job because she knows she’s making a difference for numerous parents as well as their children. Bosanko added that she had to complete multiple classes, including First Aid, Fire Safety, Administration of Medicine, Child Abuse and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. She develops her own lesson plans for the children’s daily activities and is required to pass home inspections.
Hendrix said they are currently looking for additional FCC providers.
She encourages those interested to attend one of the monthly FCC briefings held the second Monday of every month from 9 to 11 a.m. in the Family Child Care office, 13486 Replacement Ave., Building 470, Room 1125.
Applicants are welcome to bring their spouses to the briefing.
For more information, contact the Family Child Care office at 573.596.1029.