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Malmstrom, AFSPC recognize FCC provider

Wavery Estacio leads her group of pre-schoolers during "circle time." From left to right are Little Warriors Prestejah, 2; Charlotte, 2; Melina, 3; Savannah, 3; Isabel, 1; and Blake-Lee, 3. Mrs. Estacio, a licensed Family Child Care provider, was selected as the FCC provider of the year for both Malmstrom and Air Force Space Command. She will now compete at the Air Force level. (U.S. Air Force photo/Valerie Mullett)

Wavery Estacio leads her group of pre-schoolers during "circle time." From left to right are Little Warriors Prestejah, 2; Charlotte, 2; Melina, 3; Savannah, 3; Isabel, 1; and Blake-Lee, 3. Mrs. Estacio, a licensed Family Child Care provider, was selected as the FCC provider of the year for both Malmstrom and Air Force Space Command. She will now compete at the Air Force level. (U.S. Air Force photo/Valerie Mullett)

Wavery Estacio poses with one of the children in her care, Little Warrior Anna, 6, after being presented with flowers by the FCC Coordinator upon her selection as the Air Force Space Command family child care provider of the year for 2007. (Courtesy photo)

Wavery Estacio poses with one of the children in her care, Little Warrior Anna, 6, after being presented with flowers by the FCC Coordinator upon her selection as the Air Force Space Command family child care provider of the year for 2007. (Courtesy photo)

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- In a living room where half of it has been transformed into a child's ultimate play and learning center, displaying children's artwork and letters of the alphabet, Wavery Estacio reads energetically to a group of children. Mrs. Estacio, a licensed Family Child Care provider, is executing one of the many activities she has planned for the day. For Mrs. Estacio, it's just another day in her classroom - the confines of her family's home on Oak Street. She is one of many people who open their doors to provide child care for military families here.

Recently, Mrs. Estacio was honored for her dedication, energy, and focused caring for children by being named the 2008 Malmstrom Family Child Care Provider of the Year. She was one of two homes nominated by parents for this award -Maggie Walters was also nominated.

Mrs. Estacio has been a child care provider for three years. She is the wife of Senior Airman Kwinton Estacio, 341st Family Support Squadron.

From 6:30 a.m. to 5:30p.m. Monday through Friday, Mrs. Estacio opens her home to 6 children. Mrs. Estacio was nominated for the award by Pam Wells, whose child is in her care.

"Wavery has so much knowledge on what the children like and what to teach them," Ms. Wells said. "I credit Wavery with advancing Melina's communication skills and her fine motor skills. I am so proud to tell people about Wavery and what she is doing. I am proud that Melina is in Wavery's care."

The award criteria includes mentoring others in the profession, incorporating children's home cultures in the daily program, using resources to enhance children's learning, advocating for children's health, safety, education, and well-being.

"We are extremely proud of Wavery's accomplishments" said Marjorie Hahn, FCC Coordinator. "She is a great asset to our program and we are excited she was recognized at Air Force Space Command-level, as well."

"I feel very honored and happy to receive this award," said Mrs. Estacio. "I would like to say thank you to all my parents for nominating me and for all support they have given me".

The Family Child Care program at Malmstrom requires provider applicants to undergo 32 hours of orientation training on Air Force regulations, business practices, stages of child development, health, safety, child abuse recognition and prevention, menu planning, first aid and CPR. Applicants and their family members must also undergo background checks and a home inspection by base Fire, Safety, and Public Health. After that, the FCC Panel, chaired by the 341st Mission Support Group deputy commander, reviews the application and makes a recommendation for approval or disapproval to the Mission Support Group Commander. Providers have access to an extensive Lending Library at building 4000 for supplies, equipment and materials needed to open their home.

In addition to FCC homes, families at Malmstrom have other child care choices including the Child Development Center and the School Age Program at the Youth Center.

For more information on family child care, call 731-2116.


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