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Family day care homes must be licensed

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- People living in base housing who care for children in their homes could be breaking the rules. 

Air Force Instruction 34-276, which governs day care in on-base quarters, states "any individuals caring for children more than 10 hours a week on a regular basis must get approval." 

It states that the "installation commander may revoke the housing privileges of individuals who provide child care but refuse to become licensed or who continue to provide care after their license has been suspended or revoked." 

The rule applies whether or not caregivers are compensated for their services.
"People living in base housing who regularly care for children without being licensed may be unaware of the regulation," said Mary Allgood, family child care program coordinator. 

Licenses are granted by the 81st Mission Support Group commander, usually within 30 days of completion of initial family child care provider training, background screenings and home inspections. 

Training includes child guidance, play environments, nutrition, ages and stages of development, child abuse and neglect, recordkeeping, business management, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid. 

"Family child care providers are professionals trained to give the best possible care to the children left in their charge," said Ms. Allgood. 

Once licensed, providers may care for children from 2 weeks through 12 years old. They're assisted by the FCC staff in setting up their home and have access to an extensive library for toys, equipment and materials to keep costs down. 

Providers set up their own hours and fee structure. 

For more information, call 377-3189, 5934 or 5935, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.