TMCC Initiates Informal Provider Program

Feb 15th, 2003 | By | Category: 14-3: Your Heroes Are Not Our Heroes, Tribal College News

Turtle Mountain Community College (Belcourt, ND) hopes to boost the quality of day care on its North Dakota reservation through a pilot program funded by the Bush Foundation. The Kith and Kin program addresses the needs of a group usually neglected in training programs – the informal day care providers.

Because so many people can’t afford to pay a lot for daycare on the reservation, parents find friends and grandparents to watch the children during their work hours. The Kith and Kin program will educate the childcare providers on various topics such as child development, health, nutrition, CPR/first aid, time management, and age-appropriate activities. The staff plans to inventory the needs and then to address those needs, according to Leah Azure, program facilitator.

It will also reward the participants with a point system. Points will be rewarded when participants do more with the kids in a learning environment. Eventually, as points accumulate, the care providers will be able to “purchase” items such as playpens, cribs, and high chairs. There is no fee associated with the program, which considers anyone who is not formally licensed by the state to be “informal” childcare providers.

Turtle Mountain Community College is the first tribal college in North Dakota to receive funding from the Bush Foundation to support family and friends providers. Archibald Granville Bush and his wife, Edyth Bassler Bush, created the Bush Foundation in 1953 to encourage and promote charitable, scientific, literary, and educational efforts. For more information, contact Leah Azure at Turtle Mountain Community College (701) 477-7869.

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