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Child care providers celebrated
HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- Family Child Care provider Jacquelyn Duarte-Smith sits with Keith (left) and Jack (right) Paynter on May 2 during play time at her house where she cares for children. Hanscom is celebrating Provider Appreciation Day May 10 by thanking all child care providers from FCC, the Child Development Center and School Age program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Linda LaBonte Britt)
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Child care providers celebrated

Posted 5/8/2013   Updated 5/8/2013 Email story   Print story


by Tech. Sgt. Jennifer Foster
66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

5/8/2013 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- Provider Appreciation Day is May 10 and staff from the Family Child Care program, School Age Program and Child Development Center are being honored for their work in caring for children.

Provider Appreciation Day began in 1996 by a group of volunteers in New Jersey. These founders saw the need to recognize the efforts of providers who care for children of working parents. Momentum for this event has grown over the years and recognition now takes place throughout North America, Europe and Asia.

The parents and management at Hanscom agree that the employees who have a hand in shaping a child's life should be celebrated.

"It takes a special person to work in this field and I understand how fortunate the program is to have high quality providers who are dedicated to the children and families of Hanscom," said Courtney Cann, Hanscom Family Child Care Coordinator. "The FCC program is small, but strong."

According to Cann, the program recently went through five major inspections, to include the Annual Unannounced Department of Defense inspection and the program and providers did an outstanding job in every aspect.

She often receives positive feedback from parents, which lets her know she has the right people taking care of kids. For example, Angela Hiott trusts Thiqueta (Queta) Beasley to care for her four-year old daughter each day.

"The moment I met Queta, I knew she was special. She's exceptional at what she does and is such a loving, caring and amazing person," said Hiott. "Queta has become an extension of my family and it's so nice to be able to leave my daughter with her and know she is safe, loved, learning and growing so I don't have to worry about her while I'm at my own job."

Laura Penders, mother of a nine-month old, also has high praise for her son's provider, Jacquelyn Duarte-Smith.

"My husband and I are both former military members and there is something to be said about the strength of character of those who serve and of their families. Jacqui is no exception," Duarte-Smith said. "The safety of the base, the vetting of the providers and the requirements of the program provide an unsurpassed level of care. Jacqui is professional and at the same time loving towards each child. Conscientious, understanding, creative and organized - we are so lucky."

Colleen Davis, CDC director, often hears the same type of praise from parents.

"I feel privileged to be able to recognize and honor the staff at the Child Development Center who give their time, patience, knowledge and care to our children day after day, month after month and all year round," Davis said. "They are an exceptional group of individuals who are dedicated to serving the children and families of the Hanscom Community."

Davis manages 60 employees who care for 240 children, from infants to 5 year olds, throughout the week.

Danielle Casoli has entrusted the care of her son to the CDC since he was an infant.

"As a parent from the CDC for the last three and a half years, I am more impressed each day when walking through the door," Casoli said. "There is no better feeling as a parent; dropping your child off and knowing for sure your child is under the best care possible. The CDC goes that extra mile to meet the needs of the children."

The School Age Program is no different. 72 children are cared for by 12 staff.

"Staff at the School Age Program are great at supporting each other and working hard as a team so they can create a fun and exciting program for the children to attend," said Laurel Wironen, Training and Curriculum Specialist.

The top-notch care children receive, as evidenced by the parent feedback, is in large part from having providers that are serious about child care. Staff must go through 24 hours of training prior to beginning their job, plus 24 hours of additional training each year. Family child care providers are trained and licensed before they may begin caring for children in their home.

Anyone interested in learning more about becoming a child care provider may contact Courtney Cann at 781-225-6122.

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