NEWS | Feb. 6, 2013

FCC offers professional child care in home setting

By Sherian Vickers Joint Base Charleston Family Child Care Coordinator

Affordable child care is always a hot topic of discussion among parents of young children and a conversation about safe and reliable care is usually not far behind. Joint Base Charleston has possible solutions for all of these concerns: The Family Child Care Program offers affordable, safe child care in homes on the installation and throughout the local area.

Each home care provider must pass a rigorous background check, undergo local training, and those caregivers in private homes off base must be registered with the state of South Carolina to become affiliated with the FCC program. Anyone providing child care in their on-base residence for more than 10 hours a week is required to be licensed by the 628th Mission Support Group commander through the FCC program.
The provider's home also goes under the proverbial microscope, with inspections ranging from cleanliness, comfort and safety, to the quality of foods served and availability of resources for mental and physical growth of each child.

Along with day-to-day or weekly provider service, the FCC has many programs to fit a wide range of child care needs. Our Home Community Care Program provides free child care for primary UTA weekends. This pre-scheduled service is available at specific FCC homes.

For Sailors and Airmen returning from deployment, we have the Returning Home Care Program, which provides 16 hours of free child care after returning back to home base. Eligible members have up to six months after returning to take advantage of this program. Also, those coming home on two-week "R&R" visits can take advantage of this free child care.

There are circumstances when our Airmen and Sailors must put in extra time on the job. When this happens, many face the challenge of finding temporary child care. The FCC Extended Duty Care Program is considered by many families who already use the Child Development Center or FCC program to be their back-up plan. The FCC Extended Duty Care Program will assist these families in obtaining free child care when it exceeds the standard 50 hours of care provided.

Air Force military on official orders for a permanent change of station or who are new arrivals may take advantage of 20 hours of free child care using our Child Care for PCS Program. This program is subsidized by the Air Force Aid Society and vouchers for the program are available at the Airman and Family Readiness Center on the Air Base.
When their children age two or below are on a waiting list at the Air Base or Weapons Station Child Development Center, the FCC Subsidy Program allows parents to pay the same weekly fee to a home-care provider they would normally pay if the child was being cared for at the CDC.

The training to become a child care provider is free and the certification or licensing, comes with many benefits. Our providers can set their own hours and rate of pay, with the possibility of making $125 to $160 per week for each child. They have the option of providing care full-time or part-time, daytime or nighttime, weekdays or weekends, or any combination of these.

For more information about the many Family Child Care Programs or starting a child care service in your home, contact Sherian Vickers, at 963-2546 or stop by the FCC office at 2373 White Circle on the Air Base.