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Area agencies care about child care

Free week-long child care training to be held in Union County

Becoming a registered child care provider just got a little easier in Union County.

IowaWORKS along with Southwestern Community College Early Childhood Education , Greater Regional Health, Iowa Child Care Resource and Referral and Quad Counties 4 Kids ECI Area will be hosting a free week-long seminar to assist interested individuals with the process of registering with the state.

Need

In the past five years, Union County has experienced a 45% drop in available child care programs. Jenny Moon, child care consultant with ICCRR, says this is due to providers who are retiring and stricter guidelines for in-home child care centers.

Moon also spoke of recent cases where accidents and abuse have happened in unregistered day care homes in Iowa. In July, Ankeny police had told Jennifer Brungardt she could not watch more than five children in her unregistered day care. However, in Sept., Brungardt had 11 children in her home when she discovered one of them — a 3-month old infant — unresponsive. Although first responders performed CPR, the child died.

Moon said choosing a registered day care is one step parents can take to ensure their provider understands the number of children allowed, has completed safety training and has been inspected.

Kid’s Kingdom Childcare

Tammi Ornelis and her husband Rich have been working with Moon to become a registered day care for the past six months. They are waiting on a fence to be built around the pool, so the final walk-through can be done. When the process is complete in the next few weeks, they will be registered to care for six children.

Ornelis said the paperwork for becoming registered is a little confusing, even more so because they were simultaneously applying to become foster parents. Ornelis said Moon was very helpful and helped walk her through the paperwork to make sure it was done correctly.

“When I applied for it, Jenny went through the paperwork with me,” Ornelis said. “Then she takes the paperwork and they [ICCRR staff] go over it and make sure there are no mistakes because, hopefully, that speeds up the process.”

The packet of information Ornelis received also had samples of contracts for her to use. Because it is her own business — not state-run — she was able to customize the forms to fit her own ideals and plans. Ornelis’ contracts with her clients include a statement of faith and the importance of faith-based education the children will receive in her home.

Registration process

An free informational session will be held Aug. 26 at Pizza Ranch in Creston. Area residents are invited to attend the session where they will learn about the requirements and costs to become registered and how the seminar will help them navigate the registration process. Dinner will be provided by Quad Counties 4 Kids.

Registering an in-home child care with the state can be a complicated process. Applicants must fulfill 12 hours of essentials, become certified in CPR and first aid and complete mandatory reporter training along with home inspections and background checks and fingerprinting.

The 12 hours of essential include important topics such as safe sleep, safe medication practices, transportation of children, prevention of shaken baby syndrome and basic child development.

Becoming a provider

Operations Manager Sara Bath at IowaWORKS said the week-long seminar in September is open to all area residents over the age of 18 and will be free to participants.

Moon said it will cover all of the required training as well as a few extras, which will help day care providers run a successful business. Business plan training, tax and financial records information, Iowa State University Extension child care food program, incentive programs and available grants will be covered.

Those who have attended the seminar whose homes do not qualify for in-home child care would have the necessary training to work in a child care center.

On Friday, during the seminar, attendees will have the opportunity to fill out the packet of information required by the state. Representatives from ICCRR will then double check the packet and send it in. Once the packet has been sent in, the applicant can set up the initial home inspection. The registration process can take six to eight weeks.

Those interested in attending the informational session 6 p.m. Aug. 26 or who have questions about the event can call: 641-782-2119.
 

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