Army CYS offers child care option

| February 19, 2015 | 0 Comments
Child care provider Mele Nuusila is a certified Family Child Care Home Program caregiver at her HMR home. (Courtesy Child,Youth and School Services)

Child care provider Mele Nuusila is a certified Family Child Care Home Program caregiver at her HMR home. (Courtesy Child,Youth and School Services)

Rita C. Hall
Child, Youth and School Services
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Child care circumstances vary from military family to family; however, choosing the Child and Youth Services Family Child Care Home Program was the answer for one family.

Exploring options
Megan Lowe and her husband, Spc. Daniel Lowe, moved to Helemano Military Reservation late last year. Shortly after getting settled, Megan went to Parent Central Services to register their son, Fenway (then age 2), for child care at HMR.

They considered the child development center (CDC) or a family child care (FCC) home.

FCC program
FCC homes are operated by military spouses who undergo extensive background checks, classes and training to be certified and licensed to care for up to six children in their home.

Megan chose FCC, preferring the consistency of only one provider for Fenway, affording him the opportunity to build a strong, healthy bond with his caregiver.

“My son is shy, and I feel the home environment of an FCC isn’t so overwhelming for him,” said Megan.

The smaller group size in a cozy home setting appeals to her, being more conducive to personalized, one-on-one interactions and attention.
“He has been able to overcome his shyness and has developed into a little leader,” Megan added.

Fenway loves his FCC home at HMR and his FCC provider (Mele Nuusila), Megan said.

Some of the activities Fenway especially enjoys at Mele’s include gardening, field trips and cooking.

Megan is pleased with Fenway’s progress in learning manners, his alphabet, numbers, how to share and self-help life skills during his days with his FCC provider.

Children are encouraged to learn through play, with hands-on activities from early morning until parents come to pick-up their children after work.

The children also enjoy healthy, tasty, USDA-approved daily meals and snacks.

One child’s story
Fenway misses Mele on the weekends, and is reluctant to go home at the end of the day, said his mother.

“She is almost like Fenway’s second mother, like family,” Megan shared, citing his special bond with his provider that has allowed him to “open up and blossom.”

The professional relationship has also blossomed and developed into a friendship between the two families.

Certified professionals
All Army FCC providers undergo extensive background checks, classes and training.

Megan views the thorough provider certification process as very relevant and feels confident that FCC providers gain the knowledge and skills to help a child grow and flourish.

“An FCC home is the perfect environment for a child to learn,” said Megan. “I’m very blessed that Family Child Care is available, and very blessed to have found Mele.”
(Note: Hall is an FCC program associate for Child, Youth and School Services, which is part of the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii.)

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