Over 20 years ago, I worked as a family child care provider. I operated a family child care business for six years and enjoyed every time of it! Working from home afforded me the opportunity to do two things I love dearly: being a Mother and caring for children. During those wonderful six years working as a family child care provider, I was able to full-time care for my son in his early years as well six other children. The name of my family child care was “It Takes a Village to Raise a Child.” Daily, my family child care home became a part of “the extended family” of the six children enrolled in my child care. Literally, these six enrolled children became my son’s siblings and brought so much joy and happiness into my home daily. I have a special place in my heart for family child care. I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked as a family child care provider. It made me a better mother, care-giver, educator and human being.
Family child care is a unique type of care for children. Children of different ages have the daily opportunity to grow together, build relationships and share the same learning space. This type of care in a flexible home learning environment typically provides more opportunities for individualized teaching for children. In addition, family child care is set up for children to develop genuine long-lasting bonds with the provider as they grow from infancy all the way up to school-age. Some family child care homes also provide a support to the local community.
At the beginning of this school year, Tashina Pearson-Wilson, the owner of Bright Little Smiles Family Childcare hosted a back to school drive in her local community. Below is her guest blog highlighting this event.
The Making A Difference in a Child’s Life Back to School Supply Drive turned out to be a much greater success than we initially anticipated. Our goal was to gather enough supplies to fill approximately 25 bags for donation. With the help of the One Olney Plaza ShopRite, the Broad and Olney Philly Pretzel Co., family, friends, neighbors and of course my great group of childcare parents, we were able to help a whopping 47 children with a book bag full of supplies. The big and bright smiles that were displayed on the children’s faces were the greatest reward. Although this event was put together in approximately 3 weeks, it was a huge success!
Being a family provider puts me in the position to not only gain and maintain close relationships with children, but also with parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and the entire family. These relationships are what made this supply drive about so much more than just bookbags, books, and pencils. It was about a community working together to help with those in need and ensuring that children have the necessary essentials to maximize their learning capabilities. Letting families know that they are not alone is one of my goals and uplifting the motto “I care, you care, we care.” A child knowing that someone cares can move mountains for his or her confidence and enthusiasm. It sets a brighter beginning to their school year by helping them be prepared and ready to learn. It truly “takes a village to raise a child.”
Family child care is unique and does make the difference in the lives of children, their families and community.