[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                               February 25, 2011    

Family Child Care program has openings for in-home care home in Tomah

The Fort McCoy Child, Youth and School (CYS) Services program now has a Family Child Care (FCC) program home in Woodridge Military Housing in Tomah.

Jan Fink, CYS Services coordinator, said the home has openings for eligible children from 4 weeks to 12 years old. An FCC home provides the same programs found in the on-post child-care programs, but on a smaller scale in a neighborhood setting.

“The person operating this home came to Fort McCoy last summer and had an FCC home at their previous duty assignment at Fort Gordon (Ga.),” Fink said. “It will be very convenient for Families living in the Tomah area. Many Families, especially those with younger children, prefer a home setting to get their child care.”

FCC providers must meet the same stringent standards as child-care providers in the installation’s facilities, Fink said.

The FCC providers can provide parents with convenient services as their hours can be more flexible to provide child care — after the business day, on weekends or on a full-time or hourly basis. The person providing the services in the Fort McCoy community, Tangerine Cobb, is accredited through the National Association for Family Child Care and is certified to operate through the CYS Services program.

Families with deployed spouses also can use their 16 hours a month of free respite care with an FCC home provider, Fink said.

All FCC providers are private contractors who establish their own fees and operating hours, Fink said. FCC providers undergo an annual security check at local, state and federal levels.

Before they provide care, FCC providers must pass inspections from fire, safety and health officials. Fink said FCC staff visits are conducted unannounced, on at least a monthly basis, to ensure FCC providers meet standards. FCC staff members also assist the providers to conduct activities with the children or provide a second set of hands.

“Families can use both the FCC provider service and the on-post services, such as the Child Development Center,” Fink said. “FCC provider hours are established between the provider and Families seeking care.”

Providers are required to furnish Families with a set of their individual policies, which include information regarding their operating hours, closures, schedules, curriculum, training, outdoor play, field trips, clothing and toys brought from home, Fink said.

Fink said children receiving care in an FCC home are included in daily age-appropriate household activities to teach them basic life skills. FCC providers provide child development activities, and meals must meet U.S. Department of Agriculture nutritional guidelines.

“If the demand for this service exists, we will consider adding more FCC providers off post,” Fink said.

Fees are charged to use the program, and the structure is similar to the CDC guidelines.

For more information about the FCC provider program, go to the website http://www.armyfcc.com. Families seeking information about providers will need a username and a password.

For user name and password information, and for more information about the Fort McCoy program, including fees, call Parent Central Services at 608-388-8956. Information about the program also is available by calling 608-388-2238.

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