FCC provider of the year supports wing families

Sarah Peek, 341st Force Support Squadron Family Child Care Program provider, holds her daughter Harper Peek, left and Adalyn Shoemaker, right, daughter of Keyona and Staff Sgt. Scott Shoemaker, 341st Missile Wing defense paralegal, Sept. 8, 2021 at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont.

Sarah Peek, 341st Force Support Squadron Family Child Care Program provider, holds her daughter Harper Peek, left and Adalyn Shoemaker, right, daughter of Keyona and Staff Sgt. Scott Shoemaker, 341st Missile Wing defense paralegal, Sept. 8, 2021 at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. Peek was recently named 2020 FCC provider of the year and offers flexible child care to military families. (U.S. Air Force photo by Heather Heiney)

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. --

Sarah Peek was recently named the 341st Force Support Squadron Family Child Care provider of the year.  

She has been an FCC provider at Malmstrom since July 2019 and offers flexible options for military families on base to receive care outside of the typical Monday through Friday duty hours.

Some of the services she provides include a part-day preschool twice a week during the school year and Air Force expanded child care programs such as: extended duty care, supplemental child care, missile care, military spouse appointment care and medical emergency care. Peek also supports Air Force Aid Society programs such as permanent change of station care and the Give Parents a Break program.

Peek is married to Master Sgt. Benjamin Peek with the 341st Communications Squadron, has four children and is working toward obtaining a National Association of Family Child Care accreditation.

“Mrs. Peek works diligently to provide care for our military families,” said Shevaun “Sam” Holum, 341st FSS community care coordinator. “She is nurturing and naturally provides the children with learning opportunities that enhance their developmental skills. Mrs. Peek also goes above and beyond to support the families and works to direct them to any resources they may need.”

According to Peek, she decided to become an FCC provider to work from home with her children and help active duty Airmen with the sporadic hours they can be ordered to work.

“There are a lot of unique schedules here at Malmstrom and not many options for reliable child care for such different hours,” Peek said. “In the military we don’t always have family close by to call for child care of this nature and I like to be able to help these families because I have been there.”

To comply with the FCC program standards, providers must thoroughly childproof their homes, meet food and safety standards, receive a background check for themselves and any family member older than 18 residing in the home and complete training through the program coordinator. Once they are approved as providers, they also receive random monthly inspections to ensure that standards are maintained.

“By complying with all of this, children in our care are safer,” Peek said.

She has saved families more than $32,000 under the Air Force Extended Child Care Program since October 2020. This program offers free child care to any military member who meets the eligibility requirements and receives approval from the Air Force Services Center. Care is also dependent on provider availability.

“FCC providers play a vital role in supporting the mission each day by alleviating some of the stress and worry of our military members when it comes to finding care for their children,” said Holum. “Mrs. Peek makes a difference to the military families she cares for by ensuring children have a clean, safe, nurturing environment while their parents are out in the missile field, attending a doctor’s appointment, packing or unpacking their household goods, or if they just need a break and some time to themselves.”

For more information about becoming an FCC provider and care options or to schedule care, call 406-731-2833 or 406-403-1606. For more information about eligibility requirements, visit https://www.dafchildandyouth.com/expanded-child-care.