Pamela never quite imagined herself as a family child care provider. She had planned her life around her career as a military police officer, and served proudly for many years. While serving overseas, Pamela met her now husband of over 20 years. Today, the family of five lives in Siskiyou County, where Pamela has dedicated the past decade to providing affordable, quality care to the families in her community—even in spite of a recent cancer diagnosis.
It all started in 2007 when the couple returned to the United States after years of overseas deployments, and while stationed at Fort Irwin in San Bernardino County, they celebrated the birth of their first child. Like many working moms before her, Pamela made the difficult decision to leave her career to care for her son. But she still wanted to make a difference in her community, too, so she started taking classes and earned her associate’s degree in early childhood education.
The family grew from three to four and moved to Siskiyou County, where Pamela’s husband started a new job at the Forest Service and she worked at the local elementary school while pursuing her B.A. But it was difficult finding affordable child care in Siskiyou County—so Pamela vowed to do something about it.
Opening her own family child care gave Pamela the opportunity to have an active part in her young children’s educational development while also helping other families in her community. It was the best of both worlds, but it was not without its struggles. Like most family child care providers in California, low rates and lack of benefits can make doing this vital work that much harder.
Pamela’s passion for education can be seen in everything she does with the children in her care—from providing developmentally appropriate toys and integrating nature walks and other outdoor activities into her curriculum to promote health and balance.
And, since being diagnosed with cancer and multiple sclerosis, she has only closed her doors twice: once when she began multiple sclerosis treatment, and the other when her husband helped her shave her hair after starting chemotherapy. With the help of an assistant, she now serves six children between the ages of 14 months and 4 years old. Through it all, her passion for care has never wavered.
It should come as no surprise, then, that Pamela also puts her all into being an active member of her union. Even while battling two difficult diagnoses, Pamela is a member of our bargaining team and is helping in the fight for an improved rate structure that accurately reflects the true cost of care. She knows that our voices are what make us such a powerful union and will keep on fighting for herself and her fellow family child care providers.
She has gone above and beyond the status quo of any family child care provider, continuing to provide care for those in her community, and even using her diagnoses and life obstacles as teaching moments in her classroom. Her commitment to educating and caring for the children at her daycare is inspiring, and her story serves as a reminder of the challenges that family child care providers in California face and the dedication it takes to provide quality care despite those challenges.
To learn how you can join Pamela and others in our fight for better reimbursement rates, a path to retirement, and more, please call our Member Resource Center at 800-621-5016.
by Zak Mustapha, The Huffington Post, September 6, 2016
Taking care of children during their early years is simply one of the most fulfilling phases and foundations of being a parent. On the other hand, it can be rewarding as a career more so if one considers cases where both of the parents in the family are working. These kind of parents do not only need good care, security and safety to be given to their children, but also proper education to be provided to their growing children.
Also, the need for childcare professionals is greater today than in the past times. As teachers continue to retire, the rate of enrolment has tremendously increased hence there is a continuous need for quality childcare providers. Parents consequently have recognized that a solid foundation is directly connected to their children future educational growth and success. This, therefore, makes highly trained child care providers the need of the hour.
The following are some reasons anybody should consider taking a course in childcare for a successful career as childcare worker:
1. The joy and fun experienced
Hearing the voices of the children and seeing their faces lighting up with fervour each time they learn something new undoubtedly brings boundless joy. Remember childcare professional make the children’s day worthwhile. Also the time spent with the children allows a person to experience a first-hand child’s transformation. As a childcare worker children can be helped to develop into healthy and happy little people.
2. Increases employments prospects
As one advance in the childcare industry, there are diverse opportunities in the industry. After working in the childcare career one can be taken on as a childcare centre manager. It also makes it easy for a person to set their own day-care business. There are many childcare courses that are now available in various higher institution of learning. If one receives a nationwide renowned qualification from college, their chances of being considered for greater tasks in the industry increase. This
3. It’s a reliable source of steady income
For people looking to secure a stable source of income, studying to qualify in childcare is helpful in obtaining the requisite knowledge and skills required to work as a childcare professional.
4. Flexible working hours
This could be one of the major reason why many people may end up choosing a career in childcare. This career allows one to choose when to work according to their chosen programme and availability. Essentially, a profession in childcare is the furthermost appropriate job for people with children and may want to pursue another career to earn extra income for the upkeep their families.
5. It is a well sought after career
With the notable increase in demand for qualified childcare workers, taking a course in childcare becomes a competitive edge in the industry. While taking the course, a person gains the necessary skills and knowledge required in the industry, hence becoming an appropriate candidate for the employers. The qualification becomes a substantial proof of proficiency in the industry. Remember childcare workers are requisite instruments to a child’s growth.
6. Sharing knowledge and experience
It also brings an indescribable joy to support new parents. Just figure out a parent calling and expressing how happy they are for what their children have learnt from. It really would melt one’s heart with gladness. Having such impact and outcomes in the learning process of kids are rare privilege.
Still thinking whether to take a course as a childcare worker? Well, there are some of the reason why one should now take it.