Organization honors day care provider

When JaNealcq Smith started in the day care business, she figured she'd stick with it until her 1-year-old son started kindergarten.

That was 17 1/2 years ago.

Smith is the 1994-95 outstanding provider for Family Child Care Inc., an organization that offers training, day care supplies and support for family day care providers.

The Rochester woman started in the field while living in Tulsa, Okla., because she wanted to stay home with her son.

Smith, who now cares for 14 infant- to school-age children, continued in the business after moving to Rochester in 1980. She calls her day care operation JaNeal's Joy, and sends a monthly newsletter to parents.


Sue Conant, president of Family Child Care, said Smith sets a wonderful example for other providers.

``She gets raves from all her child-care parents,'' Conant said.

Since Oct. 16 to Oct. 22 is the Week of the Family Child Care Provider, Smith said she hopes all parents recognize their daycare providers.

``We don't have anyone (else) to evaluate us,'' she said.

Smith said all licensed providers will have pink ribbons outside their homes during the week and parents can check to see if their providers are licensed.

Olmsted County has more than 500 licensed providers who care for more than 5,000 children.

Smith, who has two helpers, offers her day care children a variety of things to do, including a structured preschool program. She also takes children 3 and older on field trips, and her day care children stage programs for senior citizens and parents.

Smith is nationally accredited and a graduate of the Second Helping Program, an advanced training course for experienced providers. She is on the Family Child Care board and is vice president on the Child Care Resource and Referral board of directors.


She also is a mentor to new providers.

One of the biggest problems for people new to the business, she said, is isolation. Smith said she can offer suggestions on how to handle a problem, such as dealing with an angry parent for the first time or what to do when a child has a biting habit.@et

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