F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, Wyo. — —
Finding child care can be a constant struggle for military families, but there may be an easy solution: Family Child care.
The 90th Force Support Squadron has three child care options for military families, one of which is family child care. FCC gives spouses the opportunity to become providers and get paid to watch up to six children in their own homes, including their own children.
Malina Boardman is one of these FCC providers for F.E. Warren Air Force Base. She has been a provider here for four years and has worked in the child care field for 15 years, including at child development centers where she got her start.
“I love working with children, but especially like being a provider because I can make my own curriculum and base my program off of my kids,” said Boardman.
To become a provider there is a background check, a week-long training course that teaches CPR/ first aid, food handling and other important topics, and a home inspection for safety. Once these are complete providers become certified and can start the process of finding families to work with. During the time of being a provider, there are also random and periodic inspections with the fire department, health department, safety and the FCC program coordinator.
One of the biggest parts to becoming a FCC provider is obtaining all of the materials for the children’s education and enjoyment, but this is also one of the easiest parts, due to support received from FSS.
“They really make it so easy,” said Boardman. “I was able to use the lending library, and if my car wasn’t big enough to fit some things, Joyce got one of the work trucks to help.”
Joyce Cisneros, the community child care coordinator with 90 FSS, has built an extensive lending library during her time in this position. Providers can go to the lending library and sign out materials to help them with their programs, including furniture, craft materials, books, educational materials, toys and more. According to Boardman, if there are materials a provider needs, all they have to do is make a wish list for Cisneros. That list will be fulfilled, if funding is available. 90 FSS and Cisneros make it so there are no out of pocket expenses for providers.
Boardman is also accredited through the National Association of Child Care, which means not only does she meet all of the Air Force child care standards, but also 400 more criteria required by that accreditation. In addition, she won FCC Provider of the Year in 2021.
“I like the relationships I have with the kids the most, even with kids I had in the past who moved away or left,” said Boardman. “It’s really cool to see them learning new things and growing up, and that’s the part I enjoy about doing this.”
Air Force FCC Providers undergo stringent certification requirements to include: Completion of 15 Air Force training modules, monthly unannounced home visits, background investigations, annual training and certification in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). For anyone interested in boosting income, providing quality, available and affordable child care, and assisting the Air Force with meeting the child care needs of patrons, call the FCC office at 307-631-2645 or email [email protected]. Additional information about the FCC may be found here.