|With award certificate from NAFCC.|
My wife Grace and I had a chance to sit down with Pam, and her husband Darren, at Marna O'Brien park the other night and chat about Pam's recent award.
They moved to Wildomar about eight years ago from San Bernardino. Before moving here, she operated a daycare in her home with up to six kids.
|A look at the play area in the backyard.|
I asked how she chose child care as a profession and she replied, "That could be a long answer. There are seven siblings in my family, and my mom and dad were really good parents, they were always hands on."
She related a story about when she was a wee lass, how she'd play as the teacher with the young neighborhood kids under a shade tree, passing out markers and pencils as she'd say, "Ok class, you've got to sit down."
She's been doing child care for more than 20 years, so I asked how much it's changed over time. Darren jumped in mentioning the wide range of providers that go from babysitting to educators.
|Cutting up celery for fresh vegetable soup.|
Pam's response about the differences centered on nutrition options and activities.
Where once she would have offered pizza bites and cookies, it's now one serving from each food group.
We still serve pizza, but with whole grain crust, tomato sauce, cheese & sometimes a choice of meat. Along with the pizza, I would also serve a fruit and milk.
She's also gone from suggesting TV —as a goto activity, to things like easel painting, making play dough, puzzles, riding trikes, obstacle courses, cutting with scissors, digging in the sandbox, science projects, building with wooden blocks among many other things.
|Tending the garden.|
An interesting thing I learned about Pamela's approach to dealing with children is that she doesn't like to use the word "no" with the kids.
"Instead of saying 'no' I redirect unwanted behavior with one that is acceptable. Sometimes children see "No!" as a challenge to get around. So, with my experience, redirection is a good alternative to 'no'."
|Learning about fruits and vegetables.|
I asked her to elaborate on what the NAFCC was and how she got nominated for the award.
|At the recent awards dinner.|
"How I got nominated... it's called the Let's Move Child Care, where Michelle Obama is trying to get nutrition out there. I signed up for the program, filled out the questionnaire, and they let you know the best practice"
"With the program there were certain things you had to meet. Along with the questionnaire, you had to submit photographs explaining what you were doing, why you were doing it, how were the children benefitting."
"I submitted the application and a team from Let's Move Child Care read all the entries, and from there they chose the winners."
She was one of three chosen among the more than 7,000 members.
She takes her charge seriously, and as she was describing the slideshow highlighting Garlich Family Child Care, that she submitted to NAFCC, she started to tear up.
She also received an award back in April from the 1st district of Riverside County having to do with the health department, regarding nutrition.
Though it fluctuates, she cares for about nine children a day ranging from 6 weeks to 5 years, with children up to 12 years old on non school days/Summer.
• • •
"It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men."
— Frederick Douglass 1818-1895
— Frederick Douglass 1818-1895
Wildomar Rap tip of the day: You haven't experienced it all until you've had a ravioli smoothie. Basically last night's dinner into the blender. Complete with leftover ravioli, spinach, salad, topped off with some red wine and espresso... and yes, this actually happened.