April is the national Month of the Military Child. KinderCare centers serve more than 5,000 children who have a family member in the U.S. military. This month we’re highlighting stories of centers and teachers who go above and beyond to give back to our military families who give so much to our country. Today Center Director Kathie D’Amore from the Lumberton KinderCare in New Jersey shares some of the many ways she and her staff support military families in their center community.
Lumberton KinderCare takes pride in the fact that over half of our enrollments are children of parents who selflessly serve our country and dedicate their lives to protecting our rights and freedoms. Through the years, we witnessed mothers and fathers go on deployment and celebrated their return home. Because of our team’s focus, our military parents feel secure in knowing that their children are well taken care of back at home.
Recently, we were contacted by a grandmother of a child whose parents were both deploying. We happily gave our tour, but to our educators this wasn’t enough. We assured the grandmother that we were more than just a daycare, more than a learning center, and more than a place to drop off her grandchild. At Lumberton KinderCare, we are a family. We laugh, cry, and celebrate with our families. We pride ourselves in taking the time to send deployed parents photos and updates of their children so parents don’t feel that they missed their children’s daily milestones. We also know that sometimes our military children just need an extra hug or time to sit down and chat. We ensure that our doors are always open and that we provide extra time for them for whatever needs may arise.
As educators, parent deployment is one of the most difficult events that we witness. On several occasions, our teachers have taken time to create beautiful cards for deployed parents. One of our teachers even crafted jet planes using children’s footprints. We ensure parents know that we too are committed to celebrating their sacrifices before they go off to protect our country.
During April, we have many events to celebrate our military families. Danielle, our Preschool teacher, knows the military lifestyle firsthand; her husband is an Air Force Raven. Danielle helps our children decorate ribbons that we proudly display in our hallways and entryway. Students and staff wear purple, the color celebrating children of the military. Lastly, we will have a celebratory breakfast in honor of military parents and their children. (Rumor has it that one of our deployed dads will try to FaceTime us during the breakfast to surprise his children.)
Our military is deployed to serve and protect our country: Our job here at KinderCare is to serve and protect our families.