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Home : News : News
NEWS | Aug. 9, 2007

Care, love earns one child care provider command-level praise

By Tony Perez 37th Training Wing Public Affairs Office

In a living room displaying children's artwork and the letters of the alphabet, Dawn Love reads energetically to a group of six children. Mrs. Love, a family child care provider with Lackland's Family Child Care program, is executing one of the many activities she planned for the day.

Recently, Mrs. Love was honored for her long hours of dedication to her profession. She received the Air Education and Training Command Family Child Care Provider of the Year award. She was one of two nominations from Lackland.

"We are all just so proud of her," said Family Child Care coordinator Donna Goodman. "She represents the Air Force well. We are all about quality and professionalism, and she does that by providing support for the parents 24 hours a day."

Typically, Mrs. Love's workday is 10 hours long; however, she works weekends and nights depending on the needs of the parent.

"I don't mind working long hours, or odd hours or weekends. My goal is to try to meet the needs of the parents as much as possible," Mrs. Love said. "A lot of these parents are single moms, so they need all the help they can get."

Mrs. Love has been a child care provider for six years, but has been working with children on and off for 10 years. She is the wife of Tech. Sgt. Michael Love, 342nd Training Squadron, who has been in the Air Force for 17 years. Together they have three children: Daniel, 24, Kaleb, 5, and Brianna, 3.

Kaleb is one of the reasons that Mrs. Love became an FCC provider. Kaleb was born with shoulder dystocia, brachial injury plexus and a broken collarbone.

"Technically, Kaleb was born dead; it took 3 minutes to revive him," said Mrs. Love. "Basically, because of his medical condition, if you picked him up the wrong way, he would have been paralyzed for life."

Kaleb needed 18 months of physical therapy to fully recover from his condition.

"I needed to stay at home with Kaleb during those early months, but I wanted to work, and I love kids," Mrs. Love said. "This job helped me do all of those things and I absolutely love it."

The award includes criteria such as educational value, an in-home visit, professional commitment, community effort and parent references. Mrs. Love also plans numerous field trips including, visits to the zoo, the children's museum, bowling and the movies.

"I would never have been able to do any of this without the support of my coordinators and fellow child care providers," Mrs. Love said. "They have been a great support group."

The family child care program provides regular care of children in the home of another family. In order to qualify, a provider must complete 24 hours of orientation, a background check, a home inspection and a review by the FCC panel.

They can be there for night shifts. She meets the need of the parents and implements age appropriate activities and field trips.

Two weeks ago, 37th Mission Support Group Commander Col. Robert Labrutta recognized Mrs. Love during a ceremony with a commemorative coin and case for her commitment to excellence.

"Dawn just gives us a great level of dedication and customer service," Ms. Goodman said.