Touring Military Child Development Programs How to Conduct
Touring Military Child Development Programs How to Conduct Tours of Military Family Child Care Homes and Child Development Centers Wednesday, 18 Nov 09 DoD Training Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Military Child Care Act Crystal City, VA Mary Ellen Pratt, Chief, Child Development Programs, US Army [email protected] UNCLASSIFIED Touring Military Child Development Programs Have You Ever Gone on a See Europe in X Days Tour? Before you went, the tour company sent you an attractive, glossy marketing brochure explaining why they are the best What kind of professional marketing materials do you have that explain your program? You had many tours to chose from 10 -21 days, London/Paris/Rome or all of Europe
If you have 15 minutes, what do you show off? How about an hour? The company knew who their target audience was - Family Friendly, Senior Citizens, Peddle your way across the Alps Whos coming? The Commander? FRG Leaders? Potential Community Partners? Unannounced Inspection Team? Grand Opening? UNCLASSIFIED Touring Military Child Development Programs Have You Ever Gone on a See Europe in X Days Tour? When you got to the Louvre, they turned you over to the local guide Pierre the Parisian art historian knows more about the Louvre than your tour guide, Macbeth from Glasgow Who does the talking? If you have a great Program Lead or Family Child Care Provider, they may be best able to explain what is happening When the Autobahn was closed, they had Plan B Got to Heidelberg 3 hours late? Skip the tour of the Bahnhof and go directly to the Schloss What happens it the Commander is running late? The CDC kitchen is flooding? The FCC Provider reports an outbreak of something contagious? They helped you cross the border into an unfamiliar country they collected your passport and talked to the guards on your behalf
To the uninitiated the gates of a military base can seem somewhat intimidating. Your job is to ease the stress UNCLASSIFIED Touring Military Child Development Programs What do You Talk About the Overarching Key messages HINT: You must learn to judge what a visitor wants to see and balance that with what you really want them to know (its for their own goodreally) Our Mission - its all about mission readiness we provide services to allow parents (both Military and DoD Civilian) to go to work We help parents balance their parental responsibilities and their mission requirements. And while we are doing that, we do it to the best of our ability by providing QUALITY, AVAILABLE, AFFORDABLE and ACCOUNTABLE Programs and Services Demonstrates the Militarys Commitment to Service Members and their Families UNCLASSIFIED Touring Military Child Development Programs What do You Talk About the Overarching Key messages The Systemic Approach through multiple child care options i.e., Family Child Care, Child Development Centers, Community-Based Programs,
and other Outreach Initiatives Comprehensive Standards results in consistent and predictable program practices virtually around the world Inspections and Oversight ensure enforcement of the standards Sustained funding provides Common Levels of Support equally distributed to each program A trained, competent and adequately compensated workforce results in lower staff turnover, job satisfaction, and positive outcomes for children UNCLASSIFIED Touring Military Child Development Programs The Family Child Care Program How to pick Providers
WANTED: PROVIDERS WHO Are experienced, nationally accredited, have a CDA or higher degree Can articulate their programs philosophy and can demonstrate how their philosophy is incorporated into their program Take pride in being a Military FCC Provider. Can articulate the benefits the military provides to them As seen by their peers as leaders May provide hard to find child care services Have successfully integrated their family life and child care business You would put your own child there UNCLASSIFIED Touring Military Child Development Programs The Family Child Care Program Core Messages FCC program is part of a comprehensive, systemic program which also include Child Development Centers, Community-based programs, and other outreach services Is the major supplier of evening and weekend care Allows parents to place all their children in a multi-age environment in their neighborhood Gives parents a choice of child care options and is the preferred choice for many families FCC Providers complete the same training as their CDC counterparts Provides a small business opportunity for military family members, increasing
economic self-sufficiency of the family Helps keep child care affordable to the Military (saves construction and operating costs of a CDC) UNCLASSIFIED Touring Military Child Development Programs The Family Child Care Program The Tour HINT: If you are staff, VISIT THE DAY BEFORE; if you are a provider, CHECK THESE THINGS THE DAY BEFORE: As you walk to the door: Lawn tidy? Poster in place? Doorbell working? Upon entering the home, check to see if the following are in place: Sign in /out sheets Record of Fire Drills Activity Schedule
USDA Menu DoD Child Abuse Poster Required Certificates Are you able to articulate the importance of the above items? UNCLASSIFIED Touring Military Child Development Programs The Family Child Care Program The Tour The Program Explain there is a balance between home and business. Find examples a Van Gogh hanging next to Cindys fingerpainting; a dining room table turned into a fort there should be clear evidence of intentionality Demonstrate how the activity schedule supports childrens learning at the time of the visit, children should be meaningfully engaged. Does the provider create portfolios for each child? Show one. Health/Nutrition/Safety Discuss safety procedures observe covered electrical outlets, cleaning supplies safely stored, fire extinguisher When possible and appropriate, observe hand washing, diaper changing, and food preparation NOTE: Wheres Fido?
UNCLASSIFIED Touring Military Child Development Programs The Family Child Care Program The Tour What the Staff Member Might Say What the Provider Might Say Military FCC Providers run their own business. We train, certify and monitor them to ensure children are cared for in safe, nurturing environments The FCC Staff is always so helpful! They gave me suggestions on how to improve my program. Many of the toys here came from the lending library. The training they give me even helped me to be a better parent! The frequent inspections can sometimes be a pain, but I know they are to keep the children safe and I always learn from them Providers support the mission by caring for children in the evenings and weekends For the next month, Charlies mom has to work late because her unit is getting ready to be deployed. I told her not to worry! Charlie is like a member of my family and he can stay here until she gets off work. Providers have an opportunity to enroll in the USDA Food
Program Not only do I get reimbursed for the meals and snacks I feed the children, but with the training I received on nutrition, my own family is eating healthier! FCC is the preferred child care option for many families Many people think FCC is only a place for children until a space comes open in the CDC. But thats not true! Kellys mom picked me because she wanted a small group environment. And LaTonya was on the waiting list for the CDC, but when they offered her a spot, her dad turned it down to stay with me! YOUR MESSAGE HERE: UNCLASSIFIED Touring Military Child Development Programs Did You Know there was a DoD Resource to help you plan your Grand Opening? Opening our Doors to Children and Youth Lessons Learned from the ARMY experience READ the book many, many months before the grand opening Keep higher headquarters informed of any delays
Make sure theres ample time between when the move into the new facility and the Grand Opening Send invitations EARLY Invitees include community, installation, and HIGHER HEADQUARTERS Take Lots of Pictures/video of the event Forward your Lessons Learned UNCLASSIFIED Touring Military Child Development Programs The CDC How to pick Classrooms HINT: Nothing says you have to tour the WHOLE facility! Your selections should include rooms with the best staff/child interactions a high percentage of CDAs and degrees the best overall environment
staff who can articulate and demonstrate the programs philosophy staff who take pride in working for Military Child Care. Can articulate the benefits the military provides to them specialized care such as infants or children with special needs You would put your own child there UNCLASSIFIED Touring Military Child Development Programs The Child Development Center Core Messages CDC program is part of a comprehensive, systemic program which also include Family Child Care, Community-based programs, and other outreach services Offers part-time, full time, and hourly care services Supports the mission by offering early morning (Physical Training) or extended duty day hours
Generally employs the largest number of military family members of any entity on the installation Charges parent fees using a sliding fee scale based on a parents ability to pay Child Care costs are a shared expense between the military and the Service Member UNCLASSIFIED Touring Military Child Development Programs CDC The Tour HINT: CHECK THESE THINGS THE DAY BEFORE As you walk to the door: Any trash in the flower pots? Building in good repair? Any staff smoking on 50 feet from the building in plain view? Does the building say CDC on it anywhere? If you can see the playground, what are staff doing? Upon entering the building check to see if the following are in place: Name tags prepared for visitors
FRIENDLY Parent Bulletin Board Accreditation Certificate DoD Child Abuse Poster CURRENT DOD Certificate USDA Menu Are you able to articulate the importance of the above items? UNCLASSIFIED Touring Military Child Development Programs CDC The Tour Infants Environment/Program: Explain the Primary Caregiver concept Show written communication between program assistant/parent such as feeding/diapering/what the child did that day You might discuss how you keep deployed parents up-to-date on their childrens progress Display individualized activity schedule for each infant Point out features of the room: Limited number of high chairs; individual cribs (describe SIDS policy); protected space for crawling; space for parents to leave personal belongings Health/Nutrition/Safety
Observe and discuss hand washing/diaper changing/food prep Only a few (and the same) children are changed on each station; feeding and diapering areas are separate; infants held for feeding or encouraged to self feed Note fire evacuation cribs at each door and explain evacuation procedures Point out Vision Panels/Video Surveillance/Mirrors help safeguard children Toys/Materials age appropriate and safe, clean UNCLASSIFIED Touring Military Child Development Programs CDC The Tour Toddlers Environment/Program: How has the environment changed? toys, materials, equipment You might discuss how you keep deployed parents up-to-date on their childrens progress Highlight activity schedule how are children developing self-help and self-discipline skills? What are they LEARNING? Look at the playground describe the types of toddler specific equipment Health/Nutrition/Safety Observe and discuss hand washing/diaper changing/toilet/food prep Only a few (and the same) children are changed on each station; feeding and diapering areas are separate; toilet training is supported;
Describe method used to inform parents of accidents and injuries Point out Vision Panels/Video Surveillance/Mirrors help safeguard children Toys/Materials age appropriate and safe, clean Show where protected outlets are placed; cleaning supplies stored UNCLASSIFIED Touring Military Child Development Programs Preschoolers CDC The Tour Environment/Program: How has the environment changed? toys, materials, equipment, classroom You might discuss how you keep deployed parents up-to-date on their childrens progress Highlight activity schedule and the observation system
How are you preparing children for school Look at the playground describe the types of preschool specific equipment and extended learning opportunities outdoors Health/Nutrition/Safety Describe your procedures for administering medications and preventing the spread of disease Describe method used to inform parents of accidents and injuries Point out Vision Panels/Video Surveillance/Mirrors help safeguard children Toys/Materials age appropriate and safe, clean Show where protected outlets are placed; cleaning supplies stored Describe how staff ensure children's safety (water leaned up after water play, broekn toys immediately removed, etc) UNCLASSIFIED Touring Military Child Development Programs Other Areas CDC The Tour
The Kitchen View from hallway too many cooks spoil the PM snack Know what the menu is BEFORE you are surprised during the tour! Know some number of how many meals and snacks are served in a year Describe the benefits of the USDA CACFP The Staff Lounge Make sure its tidy Turn off the TV Make sure the lounge only has a couple of staff in it The Hallway Make sure it looks child friendly (like art work and bulletin boards) and not the longest mile Stop and look at what is on a bulletin board like names of staff and their training progress Check to make sure that emergency exits have not been blocked by storage of equipment
Look to see if vision panels are covered in childrens artwork UNCLASSIFIED Touring Military Child Development Programs CDC The Tour What the CDC Director Might Say What the Program Lead Might Say We exist to allow parents to go to work. We support them in balancing their parental responsibilities and mission requirements. Its a mission readiness and quality of life issue. Im definitely a morning person. I like coming in at 5:30 to take care of children while their parents are at physical training. I mean, at that hour, where could they go off-base? Most civilian programs dont open that early. Standards are enforced through frequent inspections and oversight provided by installation higher headquarters personnel. I used to hate those inspections. I thought all they wanted to do was catch me doing something wrong. But now I realize how many
improvements have been made around here as a direct result of those inspections! The quality of this CDC is benchmarked against nationally recognized standards for both CDC accreditation and staff credentialing programs People are always accusing us of being gold plated. But if the civilian world has access to the same nationally recognized standards as we do, arent we the same as any other quality program? We provide training to help the staff become competent. It is a benefit offered free to all employees. Successful completion of training is a job requirement. Timmys dad has been deployed for 6 months. Timmy been acting out lately. Before, I wouldnt have known what to do, but the training helped me learn how I can help Timmy and his mother. Before, I would have thought he was one of those Problem Children. But now I can see he just really misses his dad. YOUR MESSAGE HERE: UNCLASSIFIED
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