PRESIDIO DE MONTEREY, Calif. (November 18, 2021) – The directors of the two daycares at the Presidio de Monterey are prime examples of the professional mobility available in the childcare profession of child and youth services in the ‘army.
Traci Gibson, director of the Monterey Road Child Development Center, and Dorrie Coman, director of the Porter Youth Center, both started as program assistants for children and youth and rose through the ranks to school director positions. .
As the US Army Garrison PoM seeks to hire more child care providers, it is important for applicants to know that there are opportunities available for those who wish to advance into a long career. term. At the same time, administrators recognize that not everyone wants to become a manager, and that’s great too.
Gibson said she still enjoys working with children, but knew it was time to consider a managerial position when she began to feel restless in the role of a full-time babysitter. She recommends that other child care providers pay attention to this feeling.
There are different areas of work where employees aren’t always with the kids, Gibson said. After learning how to care for children in bedrooms, some may want to diversify their experience by overseeing operations and improving managerial positions.
Gibson, who has a bachelor’s degree in biology and earned 24 college credits in early childhood education, said she started working in child care because it allowed her to work and be near her children. the same time.
With the military, Gibson started as a child care provider for the Naval Postgraduate School daycare center in La Mesa Village in 2009 and became Acting Director of the Navy Youth Center in 2012. She then moved and served as a Marine Corps Youth. director of the Quantico, Virginia center. After returning to Monterey in 2014, she worked as Director of Family Child Care and Outreach and then started in her current role in 2019.
Coman, meanwhile, came to Monterey in 2005 at the age of 18 to attend California State University, Monterey Bay, and began working at the Porter Youth Center as a student. The centre’s opening hours allowed her to attend classes in the morning and work in the afternoon when school-aged children were out of school.
“I appreciated the team here, as well as the work and the mission, so much that when I graduated from college I knew I wanted to stay with the organization,” said Coman, who graduated from college. a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies with a teaching track. at CSUMB.
When it became difficult to advance his career locally, Coman took the opportunity to work with the Army Children and Youth Services in the Reserve Forces training area of Camp Parks. , a small army base in the San Francisco Bay Area.
“I worked there as a manager in a number of different roles and then my dream job has always been to come back to Porter and be the director here,” Coman said.
So when a job opportunity as CYS Outreach Director opened up in Monterey, Coman applied and got the job. Then the position of Director of the Porter Youth Center opened, and she has been in that position for over seven years.
For those who want to take on more responsibility or diversify their skills, Coman said she strongly recommends moving to another facility to gain experience.
Coman and Gibson said that while child care providers, themselves included, often refer to their work as “playing with the kids,” there is much more to the profession.
Coman, for example, said, “It’s gratifying. There is a great sense of community. You can come and play. It’s your job, isn’t it? Although it is much more difficult than that, of course.
Gibson said, “We say we play with the kids all day because they learn by playing and we learn by playing with them, but it’s very hard work. It takes a lot of patience and love and it’s not for everyone.
For the right people, however, it can be a rewarding career, Gibson said.
“It’s a professional career,” Gibson said. “It’s not babysitting, and it’s not for the faint of heart. It takes a dedicated, quality person.
With all the training and background checks, the government is carefully examining those who work in child care centers, Gibson said.
Likewise, Coman has said that babysitting is one of the most rewarding jobs around when it comes to guiding young people, and she particularly enjoys working with the wide range of ages of children and children. youth at the Porter Youth Center.
Coman and Gibson said there are different levels of responsibility within the military CYS childcare profession and they described the opportunities.
In a nutshell, the next step after CYPA is to become a primary CYPA in a child care room such as an infant, toddler, or preschool room. These positions are not supervisors, but involve greater responsibility and can help lead to a supervisory position. Another position in this vein is that of Program Associate. They help oversee programs such as tech and homework programs, as well as the Strong Beginnings Kindergarten Readiness Program.
Then, the supervisory program specialists oversee the performance of staff and coach others in their work. From there, employees can become deputy director, then director of a child care center, director of the Youth Sports and Fitness program, or become director of outreach for CYS, which oversees registration, registration. and the family child care program. After that, a director might consider becoming the head of CYS.
Coman said it’s also important for people to know that child care centers need more than child care providers to operate.
For example, the facilities hire cooks, IT professionals and housekeeping staff, Coman said.
Those interested in entry-level CYPA positions can apply using the USAjobs.gov website, searching for “Program Assistant for Children and Youth” at the Monterey Presidio. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age or the dependent of a 17 year old military or civilian employee of the Department of Defense and have a high school diploma or GED.
The job pays between $ 16.50 and $ 23.95 an hour, provides extensive paid training, and nearly secures future employment at military installations around the world, among other benefits.
For more information, call Claire Tschida, Human Resources Manager for Unrestricted Fund PoM Jobs, at (831) 242-6119.