Tony & Connie Mancillas
Home Child Care Providers
Connie Mancillas had a different start than many child care providers, working as the assistant director for Mid-Michigan Child Care Centers. She did make a change, but stayed close to her roots when she opened her own home care center. Twenty years later, her husband, Tony, works alongside her and they cannot imagine doing anything else. Connie and Tony understand the responsibility parents are entrusting them with. It is an honor and privilege that they do not take lightly.
"We love what we do and have been so fortunate to have amazing families."
A monthly newsletter is sent home with lessons to be encouraged by parents in addition to a list of current school activities. The parents are involved by contributing healthy foods with produce from their own gardens and book from home to correlate to the themed units. They all have a role in the community and share with the child care group as well.
Tony and Connie believe everything can be a learning experience. Cooking projects can turn into science with physical properties and chemical changes. Math is incorporated by cutting the food into different shapes, counting things like orange slices, and measuring ingredients. They even use the Michigan rivalry to encourage vegetables; Sparty fans eat green beans and Wolverine fans eat corn.
Staying active is a key in the Mancillas' home child care. The children are outside as much as possible, even enjoying snacks and some meals as picnics. During the summer, Connie spends hours swimming with the kids and working on projects. Free play, imaginary play, songs, finger plays and games are included with every themed unit. Once activity always leads into an idea for another, and the children have the freedom to direct and learn together. The simplest things can turn out to be the children's favorite and most rewarding.
From Saginaw, Michigan, Tony and Connie have been CACFP participants through Mid-Michigan Child Care since 1996.