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Base commander names home childcare ‘provider of the year’
Air Force Col. Robert Evans, JBER/673d ABW commander, presents Tabitha Meyers with the Provider of the Year award. (Courtesy photo)
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Base commander names home childcare ‘provider of the year’

Posted 12/16/2010   Updated 12/16/2010 Email story   Print story

    


by Luke Waack
JBER PAO


12/16/2010 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- There are approximately 28 in-home childcare providers on JBER-Elmendorf.
Tabitha Meyers was chosen as Provider of the Year by parents and a panel of base leaders.

"Congratulations on a job well done," said Col. Robert Evans, 673d Air Base Wing and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson commander, as he presented Meyers with a certificate at her home, Tuesday, where she cares for six children, the maximum number an in-home care provider can host.

"100 years from now, the world will be a better place because you made a difference in the life of a child," Evans said, "And it's not going to be just 100 years from now; it's right now, today, and every day for these kids that you take care of. I'm just enormously grateful for all you do for our families and our kids."

The In-Home Childcare Provider program gives the community a vital service to military families, Evans said.

"She's been recognized as the best provider of the Year from more than 28 providers of these services on the Elmendorf-side of our joint base," Evans said. "Next year we'll compete among providers across the entire joint base."

Tabitha's role doesn't end as a caregiver; she helps others follow her lead.

"Not only does she contribute to the families and the children in this critical way, but she supports - through the Providers Advisory Group - other providers that would come in to this line of work," Evans said.

"So her impact is not just on the children, but across the entire provider network," Evans said.

Each Air Force installation presents a Provider of the Year Award, based on parent recommendations and the decision of a panel of base leaders, said Juwarn Middleton, JBER Family Childcare coordinator.

"Miss Tabitha has been a provider for Elmendorf for the last three years," Middleton said. "She has been an Extended Duty Care provider for two years. She takes swing shift kids into her home overnight, and on weekends. She has taken a lot of time, made many sacrifices, to provide quality care for our military community."

Meyers has been providing childcare for a decade, and she said it's something which has developed over time.

"I've been doing daycare for 10 years and I started out on this base having four children and then I started doing Extended Duty Care and I started watching six kids," Meyers said.

Extended Duty Care means a lot more time with the children she watches, Meyers said.
"All my kids are like my own children and I become very close to my family and that's why I try to get other providers to do it," Meyers said.

And they participate in a variety of activities, in and out of the home.

Meyers explained her motivation for serving as a childcare provider, after the presentation.

"I do it for the kids; I love staying home with my children," she said. "I just figured I could give them a better learning environment, being able to do more things with them and take them places."

Meyers enjoys seeing the children grow, under her care.

"It's very rewarding, seeing the kids smile when they accomplish something," she said.
Watching six children can be stressful, but it's a good kind of stress, Meyers said.

"It's very busy and sometimes it's very hectic," Meyers said. "You have to be very 'on your toes.' It's always a fun day, playing and doing art."

Meyers' husband is Tech Sgt. Tracy Meyers, a crew chief instructor in the 3rd Wing.



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