Rita Clare Hall
Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — For military parents, child care is a top priority.
Most families with infants and small children are familiar with the Child Development Centers, but many could be unfamiliar that Army Family Child Care, or FCC, located here, at Alimanu and Helemano military reservations, and soon, Fort Shafer.
Army FCC homes are operated by military spouses who are certified child care providers and provide quality, developmentally and age appropriate activities in a home environment. Doors open as early as 6 a.m., and many providers stay open until 5:30 p.m., Monday-Friday.
The certification process for each applicant includes thorough background and reference checks, numerous home inspections and six days of extensive training. The adult-to-child ratio is 1:6.
After arriving in Hawaii during a permanent change of station, or PCS, move, Master Sgt. Greg Dorsey, plans noncommissioned officer, 413th Contracting Support Brigade, Expeditionary Contract Command, explored private off-post child care options and asking friends and co-workers for advice.
He registered at Parent Central Services and received a referral list of AMR FCC Providers and then engaged Marta Rivera as their son’s Family Child Care Provider.
The Dorseys describe Marta’s relationship with Amoni, 4, as “motherly.”
“From the minute I met her I felt we had a bond,” said Nicole Dorsey, a civilian contract specialist, regional contracting office, 413th Contracting Spt. Bde. “We love her and it’s more like a family than a business relationship. She even came to my son’s birthday party.”
“Amoni does a lot of different activities in Ms. Marta’s home-like painting, art, computer time, nature walks, (going to the) playground and library and field trips,” said Nicole Dorsey. “He also learned his colors, numbers, counting, adding and subtracting, the alphabet, how to spell his name, good manners, politeness and respect.”
The advantages they feel a FCC home offer versus a larger child development center are the comfort of a home setting, smaller ratio and more individualized attention, increased provider/child interaction and decreased risk of illness.
The Dorseys also appreciate the thorough background checks and on-going training FCC providers receive.
“We are happy we found her and wish she could go with us when we PCS next,” Greg Dorsey said.
Army Family Child Care Program
To learn more about this program, call the Family Child Care office at 655-8373.