NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Changing diapers, creating meal plans, conducting learning sessions and making playtime fun are just some of the many tasks family child care providers take on.
The FCC program exists to help military spouses create their own businesses at a very minimal cost to them.
Requirements for becoming a child care provider are not as complicated as some people may think.
Spouses must be able to read, write and speak English, be 18 years of age, have a high school or general equivalency diploma, and pass background screenings.
Training is also required for spouses who would like to offer their services as a provider.
“You do not need to have any kind of teaching degree or experience, though it may help, it is not required,” said Ellie Bogensperger, 99th Force Support Squadron chief of child family programs.
“Potential providers go through a free week long orientation of 25 hours in our office,” she added. “We go over business, programs, policies, how to set up your environment, taxes and guidance. We provide all the materials they may need to be successful.”
In addition to the orientation, within the first year providers must also complete Air Force modules, which are similar to an ‘on the job’ training process. Afterward, they are responsible for 24 hours of annual training.
With tools and resources set in place to educate potential providers, the program has remained well-established to benefit service members.
“It is definitely a needed program that we have for military members,” Bogensperger said. “It’s a very strong program for women that love children and also a rewarding experience to help our military community. Not only do we help families find care for their children at Nellis, but Creech as well.”
Tina King, a current child care provider and recipient of the 2012 Nellis Provider of the Year Award, expressed her reason for getting into the child care field.
“I got into child care for my own children,” King said. “It was hard to find a provider that I trusted, so I felt better being at home with them. I also hated that my husband would work one shift and I would work a different shift. It wasn’t cohesive for the family.”
With this being one of the many benefits she receives from being a provider, the families of the children she takes care of makes an impact on her life.
“I think the reason people come into child care is because they truly enjoy the [children] and families,” King said. “My favorite part of being a provider is interacting with the families. My first daycare child just graduated from high school last year, and I was invited to the graduation.”
For spouses who have a love for children, teaching and learning, being a child care provider may be a great option.
“I will be in child care for two and a half more years, but if I had the option, I would do it forever. I love [children],” King said.