I promised I’d post pieces and parts from my policy book and figured I’d better get started before I forgot.
“About Amy & Kids Co.” is the first section of my policy book. It begins with a Welcome page that includes a brief welcome statement, my Mission Statement, my Philosophy, my Hours of Operation, and a list of my paid holidays and vacation time. All of these are on my child care website so I didn’t post them here.
The second page is a brief history of the program, which was easy to write because I already had the story of how I became a family child care provider on my website. I edited what I’d written for the website, paring it down until it fit on one page of the Parent Handbook.
So, without further ado I present…
I never intended to become an early childhood teacher, but now I can’t imagine a more fulfilling career! Here’s a brief history of Amy & Kids Co; for the complete story please visit the “About Amy” page on our website. (www.AmynKidsCo.com/family-child-care-provider.shtml)
My adventure in early childhood started in St. Louis during my husband’s fourth year in graduate school. I wasn’t able to get a teaching job so we decided I should stay home with our children and “do daycare” to contribute to the family income.
I planned to get a “real job” but fell in love with early childhood education! I enjoyed the children; caring for them, playing with them, helping them learn, and watching them grow. Since we’d had a bad child care experience with our older two children I was also proud that I could provide quality child care so other parents could go to work secure in the knowledge that their children were safe and well taken care of.
After graduate school I took a short hiatus from child care while we endured two cross-country moves within four months of each other. We landed in Michigan, and I became state licensed, joined the Food Program (CACFP), and opened my child care under the name “Amy’s A+ Child Care. (All the children in my care had “A” names except Katie, who was the “+”) I attended my first early childhood conference, which whetted my appetite for continuing education and inspired me to become more professional.
We loved Michigan but decided to move to my hometown, to be closer to my family and so our children could attend the high school I’d attended. There was no doubt that I would remain in child care; I started the Wisconsin licensing process before packing a single box.
We found a house suitable for child care and spent the summer preparing it for our family and moving. In October 1999 I opened Amy & Kids Co. Family Child Care under a provisional license, and in December 1999 I was proud to be fully licensed by the state of Wisconsin. I joined several professional early childhood organizations, each of which supported my goal of becoming more professional. Through active participation I also received both motivation and opportunity to create and present workshops of my own, and have presented at Fox Valley Technical College and at several local and statewide Early Childhood conferences.
In 2001 I was accepted into the pilot class of the Accelerated Early Childhood Education degree program at Fox Valley Technical College. After two years of late nights hard work I proudly graduated in May 2003 with an Associate degree in Early Childhood Education.
Since then I’ve continued to improve my program, and in 2011 my efforts were noticed and rewarded; I was presented with the first WFCCA Star of the Region Award. This award is presented each year to just one family child care provider in each region for “demonstrating a commitment to children, families, and quality care.” In addition, in 2011 I was selected to serve on the Conference Planning Committee for the 2011 WECA Conference. As the only family child care provider on the committee I represented family child care providers throughout the state of Wisconsin.
In 2012 I continued my commitment to excellence by renewing my status as a “Green” child care, joining the ranks of “Let’s Move” child care centers around the country, and receiving a CACFP Wellness Grant focusing on the nutrition and physical activity.
I love learning new things and improving my program, but at the end of the day it’s the sparkling eyes, bright smiles and sweet hugs of “my” children that makes my day and causes me to look forward to the next one.
So, that was it… What did you think?
Family child care providers – how did YOU get into family child care; what’s your story? I’d love to hear it!
Next up… my Daily Routine