FCC offers a ‘home away from home’

| March 9, 2015 | 0 Comments
Child-care provider Mele Nuusila is a certified Family Child Care Home Program caregiver. (Courtesy of CYSS)

Child-care provider Mele Nuusila is a certified Family Child Care Home Program caregiver. (Courtesy of CYSS)

Rita C. Hall
Family Child Care Program
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Many military families are unaware that Army Family Child Care (FCC) exists, and that it is a viable child care option.

FCC providers are certified, licensed military spouses who provide quality child care in their homes and who are available throughout the U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii community.

All providers have undergone extensive background checks, classes and training as part of the thorough Certification Process.

Providers implement “Creative Curriculum” into their weekly lesson plans and receive ongoing training.

The home environment features small group settings (no more than six children), which is designed to appeal to many parents seeking a “cozy” environment that frequently allows siblings in the same home.

These elements provide reasons why the FCC program is the right choice for many families.

Helemano experience
Helemano Military Reservation provider Mele Nuusila was an FCC provider in Washington for four years prior to moving to HMR and opening her home to FCC keiki, here, in 2013.
She earned a Child Development Associate, or CDA , designation in 2012.

Nuusila has a heart for children and loves teaching them, and she exposes them to new ideas and experiences.

“I want to share my day with the children, help them develop and watch them grow,” she said. “I want to provide them with a safe and loving home, and build a bond of trust. I want to make a difference in each child’s life.”

Besides the satisfaction that comes from working with children, Nuusila also shared what she feels are some of the other benefits of being an Army FCC provider.

“I wanted to be home with my own children, earn extra income to help my family, have a portable career, serve my country and grow professionally through all the wonderful training that is offered,” Nuusila said.

A typical day in her home includes healthy meals and snacks, circle time, stories, arts and crafts, outdoor play, nap, music, games and special weekly activities – like gardening, the FCC monthly Creative Dance/Movement Class and field trips.

For anyone considering a career as an Army FCC provider, Nuusila offers her opinion.
“Being an FCC provider is a wonderful opportunity for anyone that is patient and loves children,” she said.

“I love my job!” she added.
(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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