By Heather Kline
The Family Child Care Program is a child care option offered in homes on post by authorized military family members and qualified civilians working as independent contractors. FCC providers offer a legal and safe alternative for military families needing full, part-day or hourly care.
This program is part of the larger Army Child Youth Service system and is responsible for a number of all available child care spaces. In addition, home care providers have access to training, toys, equipment, safety items and receive monetary subsidies. Providers are also put on a referral list by staff members and current providers.
Sara Hendrix, Fort Leonard Wood Family Child Care director is passionate about helping get new providers started with their own FCC home business due to the shortage of child care on post.
“When the topic of child care comes up the word ‘valuable’ always pops into my head”, Hendrix said. “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. It is valuable to the child who needs 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.”
Hendrix added, “FCC is also valuable to military spouses who are looking for a portable career that pays for credentials such as a Child Development Associate and National Accreditation. The FCC is valuable to parents who want to stay home with their children while also contributing to their household income.”
Kimberly Graham, military spouse and mother, who was previously a home care FCC provider said, “For years, I was interested in working from home so I could be around my family more. We always found it hard to have consistent daycare that aligned with our schedules. I wanted to make a difference in the military community with flexible child care.”
Graham said her family has been supportive of her career choice.
“FCC means so much to me because I’m transforming the lives of these little people who have been through deployments, transfers, and sometimes the loss of loved ones,” Graham said. “FCC providers maintain a happy home-away-from-home atmosphere for children who cannot be with their own parents, earn an income while staying at home with your own children, help Soldiers who worry about having quality, reliable child care, create social experiences for your own children, and be your own boss.”
For a list of current providers, or for more information on becoming a provider, contact the Family Child Care office at 573.596.1029.