After hours childcare

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Malcolm Mayfield
  • 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs
The unique mission of the 90th Missile Wing leads to varying work schedules for the Airmen who fulfill the mission. Many are tasked with trips out to the base's missile complex at late hours of the night or even for a full 24 hours, which for some, can lead to challenges as parents.

The Extended Child Care Program offered by the 90th Force Support Squadron provides services for all base personnel who work outside the normal 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. work schedule.

The ECC is part of the Family Child Care Program, which is another option for child care on base outside of the Child Development or Youth Centers. FCC is tailored for children who need a smaller group setting or prefer a home setup.

"The CDC helps us out a lot by referring kids to us, especially those who need a smaller environment," said Tara Firos, ECC provider. "Everyone knows when you go to a new military base that there is a CDC and a Youth Center, but not everyone knows about the FCC or ECC programs."

Firos has been an ECC provider since October of 2014 and a FCC provider since 2006.

"I wish I would have known about this program when I first got here," she added. "I would have definitely used it then."

Firos is one of the three dedicated ECC providers out of the eight providers in the program. The other five providers work mainly as FCC providers with three of them as back-up ECC providers.

Monitoring the program as the Family Child Care coordinator is Jean Sall; she conducts the training, inspections and ensures the providers are all certified.

FCC and ECC providers host the children in their homes after Sall inspects their living areas for child safety.

"A lot of children do really well in a home daycare setting," Sall said. "It feels like home to them so they are a little more comfortable."

The ECC is available with no additional charge as part of the child care provided by the base. Providers are able to accept children as young as two weeks and up to 12 years old.

"I enjoy using the program," Staff Sgt. Katherine Tedrow, 90th Missile Wing Protocol. "I've been at this base over five years and I've never had the typical business hours."

Before joining the protocol office, she was part of the 90th Security Forces Group. Tedrow has been using the program since the beginning of her duty on Warren.

"My daughter enjoys it because they have kids she like being around and playing with," she said. "I'd rather be here [with my kids] but it feels reassuring knowing someone can look after my kids."

The FCC is looking for military spouses to become certified home day care providers. Applicants may live on or off base. To use the program or become a provider, call 773-3317.