Ten years ago this month a friend and I, seeing a desperate need for our local child care providers to bond together, founded an organization called Family Child Care in Action. We had been a part of an organization previously, but as most things are in the daycare world, it was totally focused on center care and not home care. Working in a home setting is so different than a center. A family child care is just that. A family that is together with multi age ranges and personal one on one care. A class taught for teachers who work with a room full of two year olds addresses different needs than a family child care provider has. In my opinion, after being in childcare for nearly 20 years, family child care has no equal in the childcare world. Herding large numbers of children who are the same age just cannot compare to specialized care in a family home.
We saw the need for an organization that would provide support to family child care providers. So we came up with a plan to start one. In June of 2004, we started Family Child Care in Action to support providers of all kinds, but with a focus on the family childcare home.
There are many reasons to be a part of a local organization, here are just a few:
1. Family child care can be isolating. We need friendships with other providers who can relate to what we do all day.
2. We need support when we are having a difficult time with a child and need advice. More likely it is a difficult parent who is trying to take advantage of us. Talking with other providers about a problem helps us to gain confidence and be professional in handling difficult situations.
3. We need training. And it’s awesome to get training that is geared toward family childcare homes.
4. We need a network. When we have openings we need to fill or know of extra kids needing care, we can help each other.
5. We need information. When we share information concerning new regulations, great ideas for things to do with kids, or policies that work, we are all better providers in the end.
The child care organization is NOT a place where we talk bad about families we serve. We don’t use names when discussing difficult situations. We just present the problem and get advice on the best way to handle it. An experienced provider can share their contract or the way they do things with a new provider and help them to create policies of their own that will work for them.
Several years ago, I stepped down as the president of Family Child Care in Action so others could have a chance to lead. It was time for new ideas and a fresh way of doing things. I could not be happier with the way the providers that run the organization are running it now. I know they are working together to do their very best. The ladies in this organization have become my friends. We work in different homes, but we all have the same goal to be the best we know how to be. Last night we celebrated 10 years of the organization and looked back at how things in the business had changed. I knew the organization was a very good thing and I was proud!
Family Child Care in Action is awesome and if you have a chance to be a part of a childcare organization you should join TODAY!