Home Child Care Provider
Over 23 years ago, through prayer and consideration, Carol Reed felt a calling to begin her own home child care. Starting from the ground up, with only the experience of helping to care for her nieces, she created a place for the children in her home and joined the food program for nutritional support. She currently cares for fifteen children through both a first and second shift, with before and after-school care.
"All children need an adult to be a role model and to care for them. I want to be that person for them and help when they’re learning and when they’re struggling.”
Carol role models through simple conversation, usually revolving around nutrition. She discusses making healthy choices in a fast food environment like choosing fruit instead of fries or grilled chicken instead of fried nuggets. She involves the children with snack ideas to invent new favorites. Sometimes this is as simple as incorporating a whole grain cereal and new fruit into a yogurt cup. Along with nutrition education, they discuss dental and physical health stressing that if they want to be the best and give their best, they have to be healthy.
In addition to nutrition, Carol discusses the importance of education with the children. Even when there is no homework assigned, the children work on math, spelling and have a reading club during the summer months. Through education and communication, she strives to teach the children respect and responsibility within a safe, structured atmosphere by creating a family environment, providing a connection of community, and treating others with kindness.
While Carol emphasizes community amongst all the children, she is also teaching them to be kind to others around them. As a group they are collecting money to donate to the World Vision Project and will research to decide which project they would like to donate to through the organization. With a role model like Carol, the children will understand how to be a healthy family together and be able to understand the importance of giving back to others in return.
From Decatur, Illinois, Carol has been a CACFP member through Association for Child Development since 1996.