Family Child Care providers offer valuable in-home child care services to Minot AFB families and these professionals actively celebrated Month of the Military Child!
Individually, many showcased decorative home displays donning purple paint, family pictures, and that dandelion message of resilience that we’ve all grown to love. Some dyed purple shirts and others baked purple treats and arranged fun family get-togethers!
Collectively, the FCC providers participated in Spirit Week from April 11th-15th. Monday was wacky hair/outfit day, Tuesday was Superhero day, and Wednesday was Red/White/Blue Day! The blizzard did not extinguish their spirit, as PJ day on Thursday—in light of school/road closings—was universally followed! Friday’s Purple-Up Day was also enjoyed.
In addition to Spirit Week, all providers participated in weekly crafts and trainings. All FCC Office Staff took part by sharing their knowledge with the providers.
The first craft: decorate a paper banner. The corresponding training was given by Community Child Care Coordinator, Ms. Kelly Pringle, and discussed the importance of Social Media Presence. Regarding her training, Pringle states, “Social Media is a tool that we have at our disposal and can be both positive and effective when used correctly. In our program, we use it daily as a way to communicate with our providers, and I have emphasized the importance of being professional when marketing their FCC businesses. It matters.” FCC Provider, Tamesha DenBleyker says, “They [my FCC children-in-care] loved decorating the banner! I told them that military children are special, because unlike other kids, they move around a lot and have to adapt.” DenBleyker adds, “my son, Timothy (7 years-old) said, ‘So that’s why we moved from Arkansas to Guam to here!’ and I told him that’s exactly why!”
The second craft: decorate a cloth potholder. The corresponding training was given by USDA Coordinator, Ms. Stephanie Hazen, and discussed the importance of Family Style Dining. Regarding her training, Hazen states, “This type of dining promotes togetherness and builds early childhood skill development. Social/Emotional Development and Fine Motor Skills are cultivated through active conversation and serving of food. I supplied each provider with a handout on Family Style Dining, provided by cacfp.org, which lists tips to effectively implement this dining method in their programs.” FCC Provider, Taylor Rodriguez says, “They liked working together to make something we can use while cooking. I told them it’s important to celebrate military children, because they go through a lot with their parents leaving [deployment] or working long hours. So, it’s important we celebrate all that they do!”
The third craft: decorate a canvas bag. The corresponding training was given by Family Child Care Coordinator, Ms. Alyssa Kelly, and discussed the importance of Playground Safety. Regarding her training, Kelly states, “Playground Safety is evolutionary in nature—as little guidance in this area is supplied to care providers—so I assisted in a hands-on way! As a certified Early Childhood Playground Inspector, I shared my knowledge of playground hazards and focused on injury prevention by supplying each provider with a laminated no-sign (to be secured to unsafe areas on the playground) and a laminated list of Recommended Playground Safety Items: Duct Tape & No Sign (block off unsafe items), Thick gloves (remove trash), Towel (wipe slides/wet surfaces), Small broom (hand-held) and dustpan, and First-Aid Kit. It is then up to the providers to buy the necessary items; held within the bag they decorate.” FCC Provider, Tena Holmgren says, “I had my 6 year-old, 5 year-old, and two 4 year-olds. We talked about rules at the park and how to stay safe. My 6 year-old said she wanted to draw a picture of two friends playing at the park. I handed her the markers to draw that and the others scribbled on the other side. Then we chatted about how sometimes life can be tricky and this month is a time to celebrate all the tricky times in our lives. I called it ‘tricky,’ because on the 27th of April one of our friends PCS’d and it was hard for all of us to say goodbye. All these fun activities were for them to celebrate themselves and the tricky times!”
Minot AFB`s Family Child Care program annually benefits from their active involvement in celebration of Month of the Military Child. Last year, the FCC Office delivered weekly STEM challenges focusing on Age-Appropriate Development. Overall, the Military children in FCC thrive within a fun-loving, knowledge-based program that celebrates their resilience!
Jim Hillstead, Army photo 1943 In a way, Jim Hillstead’s story about military service is much the same as other veterans, but in another way, it is completely different. Hillstead, who is 103 and lives quietly with his son Kelly in Kenmare, took on a significant...