Senior leaders present award to FCC provider of the year

  • Published
  • By Mark Wyatt
  • 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Base officials presented an award to the installation’s Family Child Care Provider of the Year during a presentation here June 19.

Emily Hamel, a licensed Family Child Care provider, is receiving the award for the second year in a row.

“I put my heart and soul into my program and it feels great to be recognized,” said Hamel.

Robin Morris, 66th Force Support Squadron FCC training and curriculum specialist, who oversees the program, highlighted Hamel’s commitment to caring for children with special needs.

“Emily remains flexible in adjusting her daily Family Child Care routine to welcome multiple developmental, physical and occupational therapists into her home,” she said. “One child in her care receives more than 20 hours of one-on-one support from these therapists.”

Hamel got involved in home child care when she learned her youngest son was autistic.

“Emily’s experience with her own son’s special needs has given her a unique insight into helping families support their children’s developmental needs,” said Morris. “She also often extends her hours to assist families when needed.”

In addition, Hamel has helped families in getting developmental evaluations for their children, being present for team meetings and giving emotional support to parents as they navigate Individual Education Plans and challenging learning disabilities.

"I have gone above what is expected to help families of children with special needs because I’ve been there with my youngest son,” Hamel said. “I know the worry and fear for your child to not receive everything they need if you’re not around.”

Col. Chad Ellsworth, the base commander, presented the award.

“Thank you for your willingness to step-up, not only to be a provider, but a provider for children who need extra special care,” said Ellsworth. “We could not do what we do without wonderful people like you.”

Hamel has been caring for children at Hanscom since 2017.

“It’s a privilege to watch these amazing kiddos meet milestones, and it’s uplifting and beautiful to witness the patience, empathy, encouragement and love that these sweet six little boys all share with each other,” she said.

The FCC program offers in-home care for children ages two weeks to 12 years.

“The Family Child Care program is critical in supporting the need for providers at Hanscom Air Force Base,” said Scott Craver, 66 FSS Child and Youth Services Flight chief.

For anyone interested in becoming a licensed FCC provider, call 781-225-6121 or visit www.HanscomFSS.com. The FCC office is located in the Child Development Center at Building 1994.