The Professional Family Child Care Association of Utah was founded in 1969 when the State of Utah was going to reduce the reimbursement rate for state subsidized child care from $2.65 per day to $2.00 per day. This change would indirectly impact private pay child care rates as well. Twelve providers bonded together to formally “Stand Up” against lower child care pay.
In 1971, The Professional Family Child Care Association applied for incorporation and became a legal, recognized association. Utah was the second state in the nation to organize a formal association. There were four members of the executive Board, Susan Ladell, was elected as the first President, with Cathy Thompson serving as Secretary. After Susan’s term, Cathy was elected as the second PFCCA president. Cathy served as president through the rest of the seventies, or better known in our own history records as the “Rebel Stage” of our association. The community out-look was that they were ‘babysitters’, and ‘troublemakers’. They were thrown out of legislative offices when petitioning for children’s rights and laughed at for being concerned about provider related issues.
In the early eighties, Linda Geigle was elected as president. She took initiative to become an advocate for children, and with the help of her executive board, brought PFCCA into a new limelight. Child care had become an absolute necessity; and quality initiatives in child care became the central focus. Community agencies were beginning to realize that PFCCA was a valid asset to our state. Linda’s board made it a priority to attend any meetings that impacted Family Child Care as a profession. They also began to share information and reach out to other associations. This was a period of tremendous growth in the association.
In 1986 PFCCA founded Children First Food Program. With the growth of food program sponsors in Utah and to avoid any possible conflict of interest issues, it was decided that PFCCA and Children First would become separate entities; therefore encouraging the association to network with, and support all food programs available in the state.
Moving Into The Nineties
In the early 1990’s, Linda Draper was elected as President of PFCCA, while Linda Geigle went on to serve on the Board of Directors and eventually as President of the National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC). The PFCCA board, under the direction of Linda Draper made a goal of helping providers to grow professionally. During this period, the board implemented a ‘Scads of Supplies’ association fundraiser in which materials and curriculums could be purchased to help members (approximately 400 in number now) create better learning environments for the children in their care. Later, in 1994 Wendy Diamond became President. Under her direction, and with the support of the Utah Office of Child Care, PFCCA received Association Leadership Training.
This training program was presented by Linda Giegle, director of Children First and past president of NAFCC, and consisted of twelve workshop sessions covering association structure, principles of leadership, planning and goal setting techniques, communication skills, and many other related topics. The executive Board, with the help of National Professionals, reorganized the entire association. The board developed and implemented association goals, a mission statement, new and legal bylaws and job descriptions, and a new logo was designed. After completing this training program, the PFCCA board attended the 1995 National ‘Save the Children’ conference in Atlanta, GA and returned to Salt Lake City with energy, commitment, and enthusiasm. Infrastructure was definitely the highlight of the Wendy Diamond presidency.
The enthusiasm and momentum continued into Tracy Halverson’s presidency from 1996 to 1999. Tracy, with the support of her board, traveled throughout the state of Utah, to each of the 17 affiliate chapters to present workshops, PFCCA presented Statewide Annual Conferences with approximately 300 participants. The Utah State Office of Education; Child Nutrition Programs co-sponsored these annual conferences with PFCCA in 1995, 1998, and 1999.
PFCCA welcomed Debbie Caldwell as president in January 2000. She was followed by Lorell Loose who served for a year. Sheila Lewis, Debbie Crosby, Lesie Hjorth, Tracy Halverson, and Cindy Smith have served over the past few years. No history was recorded of their presidency.
The Professional Family Child Care Association of Utah is dedicated to inspiring children to reach their full potential by supporting Family Child Care Providers. We do this by helping providers increase quality of care, raise community awareness, and encourage providers to see themselves as professionals. From a rocky “rebel” beginning, our non-profit organization has been serving children and providers for over 40 years, longevity that is a testament to our ability to adapt to the ever-changing needs of children in family child care and their providers. Throughout PFCCA’s history, our focus has been constant and remained on the needs of the children of Utah and helping to educate and properly prepare providers. Because stable children develop in stable families, we also strive to bring parents and the community together by helping families become aware of the services and resources available in their community that will further assist nurturing autonomy and stability in the family.
The Board is excited to keep moving forward and “Soar to New Heights.” PFCCA recently had a facelift and received a new logo. As a board we felt the need to focus on our Mission Statement and set our goals to uphold our statement. Scholarships in connection with CCPDI and CAC have been put in place to help qualified providers in targeted high-need Utah neighborhoods receive their CDA. As family child care providers gain continued knowledge and understanding of care competency standards taught in obtaining their CDA and understanding why these standards help children move forward with success from one development stage to another, we are assuring positive changes in the children we care for and the future of Utah. We have also set the goal to let our providers know we are there to advocate for and with them. We have already visited many city council meetings to advocate for higher licensing limits, a continuity in Fire Inspection quality and Inspection fees. We will continue to appear in several more of our city council meetings to advocate provider concerns. The “Rebels” of old are back and ready to be heard.
PFCCA members from around the state are unified and electrified with purpose. Each and every member contributes to the achievement of quality family child care in Utah. Members of PFCCA are appreciating that they chose this profession with intention and are constantly striving for professionalism in the child care field. When an individual is asked, “what is your profession?” People reply with responses of “I am a doctor, I am an engineer, I am a technician.” When as a family child care provider you are asked that same question I hope you can stand proud and express “I raise doctors, I inspire engineers, I motivate future technicians, I am a professional, I am a family child care specialist!