Home Child Care Provider
After working in criminal justice for six years, Candy Triunfel realized that she simply was not fulfilled by her career. Reflecting on her life passions, she began the process of opening her own home child care in 2011. She now cares for 12 three-year-old children and is truly filled with the joy that her new career provides.
"I feel like I am making a difference where I was not before. I am in contact with families and children that I care for, both now and those in the past. Their gratitude is better than anything I could have received from working in my previous job.”
When Candy started her child care, she immediately joined the CACFP, which allowed her to serve nutritious meals. The staff eats alongside the children serving as role models for healthy eating, but even more importantly, they facilitate discussion about food—talking about its importance along with textures,
flavors, colors and tastes. The children are involved with mealtime as each is given a job for the week to help serve or prepare the meal.
Candy engages the children in physical activity daily and teaches them the importance of exercise as a part of a healthy lifestyle. Candy has provided various equipment in her yard for children to play with—from tricycles and hula hoops to soccer balls and basketballs. The children often go on nature walks and talk about the components from their exploration units. For example, if they are learning about firefighters and fire safety, they take a walk to their neighborhood fire department.
Healthy habits and lifestyle are encouraged for the entire family, not just the children. Candy hosts parent engagement days where parents visit the class for arts and crafts, projects, and meal times. She communicates through a program she has adopted with videos, pictures and newsletters of all the things the children are learning, including cooking projects. Candy understands that when parents, teachers and students are all working together and on the same page, the children are more successful.
From Brooklyn, N.Y., Candy has been a CACFP participant through Child Care Network of New York since 2011.