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With new industry and businesses coming to Fremont, new families may be looking for childcare.

That’s where a locally based organization can help.

The Fremont Area Child Care Association (FACCA) is a support group for those in the profession of caring for, teaching and working with young children. The organization has monthly meetings for early childhood care professionals and continuing education classes.

FACCA also offers a website with a list of childcare professionals’ names and contact information — along with available openings.

Melloney Tenopir and Dakoda Williard are co-presidents of the FACCA, a group consisting of early childhood care professionals from Fremont and surrounding communities.

“Right now, there’s a nationwide push for high-quality childcare,” Tenopir told the Tribune. “The first five years of a child’s life are fundamentally important.”

Children learn more quickly during their early years than at any other time in life. They need love and nurturing to develop a sense of trust and security that turns to confidence as they grow, states data from the Facts for Life global website.

Tenopir added that interactions in a child’s earliest years are critical to future success in learning, social competency and prevention of mental health problems.

“The social-emotional development that takes place during this time is strongly influenced by the quality of the relationship between young children and their primary caregivers,” Tenopir said.

Established in 1988, the FACCA serves Fremont and communities including Hooper, Scribner, North Bend and Cedar Bluffs. It involves both centers and in-home daycares.

The group’s goal is to serve those who care for and teach young children by offering emotional support, sharing ideas, offering continued educational courses and keeping child care professionals up to date on any new or updated state regulations.

The group offers the website: fremontchildcare.weebly.com for the public and group members. The website lists child care professional members and their contact data.

It also lists any providers who might have openings in Fremont and the surrounding communities. That list is updated after monthly meetings.

The group has monthly meetings, in the evening, typically on the fourth Tuesday of each month at First State Bank & Trust Company Education Room, 1005 E. 23rd St., Fremont. Professional child care providers and other individuals interested in quality child care can join.

Monthly meetings will be starting in August. The website provides information on becoming a member and the membership fee.

Tenopir added that child care providers are required to have 12 hours of continuing education each year.

The FACCA website has a calendar of events and group members can check the site for information on classes.

Tenopir said many area in-home providers have been caring for children for 15 to 20 or more years.

Childcare is now being considered as early childhood education and many providers and centers are going beyond basic state regulations to provide a higher level of education during the early years of a child’s life.

“Many of our childcare providers in the Fremont and surrounding area have really stepped up to meet the challenges of providing quality childcare for our communities and we currently have several great programs going on here in Fremont,” Tenopir said.

In May, five local-area, in-home child care professionals graduated from the Nebraska Association for the Education of Young Children (AEYC) Leadership Academy. This was a nine-month program.

A small group traveled to York to attend Elivate19, Nebraska’s first childcare business summit on June 8.

Other opportunities include:

Rooted in Relationships.

  • This is a social/emotional program consisting of a collaboration of childcare centers and in-home childcare professionals who receive tools they need through class instruction and coaching to help children understand and deal with social and emotional issues. This is a program that is in collaboration with the United Way.

Nebraska Step Up to Quality Program.

  • This is a statewide quality rating program that requires commitment of the In-home or centers to ensure parents in local communities are receiving wonderful opportunities for their children to be part of top-quality rated childcare programs. This program requires instruction, coaching and program-rated evaluations. Many Fremont area centers and in-home providers are joining this program.

Fremont Childhood Development Associate program.

  • A small group of Fremont area childcare providers have become part of this pilot program through the Nebraska Early Childhood Collaborative. Tenopir said this is a great opportunity for area childcare providers to earn their CDA-Child Development Associate, which is a national credentialing program.

“We want to teach parents how to get informed about providers, who are setting goals of providing a higher quality of care for local children,” Tenopir said. “Several of us are enrolled in most or all of the programs listed above. We are working diligently to run a successful self-employed business and offer top quality care to our little ones, because they are always what is most important to us.”

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News Editor

Tammy Real-McKeighan is news editor of the Fremont Tribune. She covers news, features, religion stories and writes the weekly faith-based, Spiritual Spinach column.

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