Anyone who legally provides care for children in their homes or in a center is required to have training hours each year, much like a school teacher. Windham has had an organized support group for child care providers for over 18 years and has a statewide reputation. The group is no longer only available to Windham business owners, but to any child care provider in the area.
“Windham Child Care Providers (WCCP) is a support group for all of Cumberland County.
WCCP started from the desire of a group of child care providers in Windham to network and train together. Although known as Windham Child Care Providers, the group welcomes all licensed providers from surrounding towns to join them. At this time there are active members from: Cape Elizabeth, Westbrook, Gray, New Gloucester, Gorham, Scarborough, Raymond and Windham,” Debbie Arcaro said in a press release.
“Most of us are family in-home child care providers, but anyone who works in a licensed child care program is welcome to become a member. The yearly dues ($10 for 2013-14) is payable at the first meeting you attend and covers all the offered trainings (18 hrs. total for 2013-14). We meet on the first Thursday of each month September thru June, in the lower room at the Windham Public Library. Meetings run from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Training certificates are provided for attendees after each meeting.”
“We need to get it out there that we exist,” said Arcaro. “In child care it’s a pretty isolating profession. You’re in your house all day,” she said.
There are about 40 active members, but over 100 on the roster in the last five years.
The group no longer does referrals for liability reasons and can no longer distribute their contact information through the schools. Providers can give games for those looking for child care, but do not call it a referral. To learn more about this group, visit www.wccproviders.wordpress.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meetings are scheduled for:
Sept. 5 - Business meeting to start the year followed by an informative training on today's 5210 program, resources and trainings by Ashley Edmondson
Oct. 3 - Margaret Cushing - Issues in emergency preparedness
Nov. 7 - Book and activity share - each member is to bring two books and an extension activity for each to share with the group