Home Child Care Provider
Like many home care providers, Wanetta Gerlach started in the profession as a way to work and care for her own children. Thirty-six years later, she is still finding joy every day in being a home provider. The smiles on their faces, antics during work and play, and as the children have lightbulbs of understanding combine to keep her motivated.
"We don't do this for the accolades. We do this for the little hugs we get every morning when they come in and the hugs we get every evening when they go."
Describing the twelve children in her home as super active, she knows nutrition is key to keeping them healthy. Everyone eats together, where teachers serve as role models for the kids. Plates must be full of color! Wanetta focuses on making sure food is fresh and healthy, not out of cans. She involves the kids in preparing fresh fruits and vegetables to freeze for the winter.
Being a firm believer of spending time in fresh air, Wanetta says opportunities to play outside are a must. Every day, weather permitting, the children walk to one of five parks in the area. Even when they're not at a playground, they run and roll on the hills at a local church, having a fantastic time. They incorporate citizen on their walks as "Trash Busters," each armed with trash bags and gloves to pick up trash along the way. Rules to respect other's property on their path is also enforced.
In this child care environment, the children learn about communicating how to truly get along with respect towards one another. Teaching nutrition, health and pre-k curricula is only part of Wanetta's focus. Her main goal is to provide a morally safe, sound environment where children learn about being good citizens and can get along in society.
From Mountville, Pennsylvania, Wanetta has been a CACFP participant through Child Care Consultants, Inc. of York Co. since 2011.