The First Steps
Establish Leadership: Setting Up a Child Care Program Planning Committee
It is essential that a cadre of interested individuals commit to the formation of a child care program. Often, parents are the best advocates for getting started; however, there must be commitment from others at post as well. It is advisable to convene a planning committee including,but not limited to:
2. The Community Liaison Office Coordinator (CLO)
3. The Administrative Officer
4. Representative from the Employee Association at post
A clear-cut definition of duties and frequent communication among committee members is essential. Once a Director of the Center has been hired, this Child Care Program Planning Committee could become an advisorycommittee to the Employee Association Board, which becomes the governing body. The Director of the Child Care Center reports directly to the Employee Association Board. The advisory committee becomes just that--an advisory committee on child care concerns to the Employee Association Board of Directors.
Roles of the Planning Committee
Dividing tasks among members is necessary in workingtowards the goal of determining the need for a center. The list below should be viewed as suggested roles for committee members and adapted according to your local needs.
1. Planning Committee Chair
Assumes the role of spokesperson, sets meeting times and locations, and coordinates all group efforts. Works with Embassy offices and representatives from the Office of Commissary andRecreation Affairs as needed.
2. Marketing/Advertising Chair
Publicizes and ensures high visibility for the project. Should a needs assessment be advisable, this committee member coordinates the survey and tallies results.
Financial Planning and Fundraising Chair
Determines creative ways to raise money within the community for the project and communicates with the PlanningCommittee when projecting financial operations.
4. The Scribe (Recording Secretary)
Keeps records of Planning Committee efforts, decisions and results, needed for reporting purposes when the Child Care Center has opened.
5. The Encourager (Community Advocate)
Keeps the Planning Committee motivated and focused. It is one of the most important postions on the Committee becauseplanning may continue well beyond original expectations.
The Planning Committee must be familiar with 6 FAM 500 which gives the legislative authority and applicability for employee associations.
Child-related activities overseas operated by employee associations
Posts that can be contacteddirectly for information on setting up the kinds of facilities listed include:
As of January 2011:
POST CHILD CARE PRESCHOOL SUMMER CAMP
Addis Ababa X _____
Beijing X X______
Buenos Aires X _____ Frankfurt X X X
Manila X X
Mexico City X X _____
Moscow X X X _____
Prague X X
Tokyo X X X _____
In addition to these Department of State resources, the Internet has a wealth of information on quality child care programs. The web sites we recommend include:
* The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) at www.naeyc.org* The Department of Defense Military Child Development Services at http://military-childrenandyouth.calib.com/index.htm/
Determining the Need for Child Care
To determine the need for child care in your community, it is advisable to get input through a formal survey, an informal focus group, or a combination of both. Whichever way you choose to gain information, consider which...