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Patrick spouse AFSPC's best child caregiver

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- A Patrick AFB daycare provider is Air Force Space Command's Family Child Care Provider of the Year. 

Candy Jones will now compete at the Air Force level. 

"This achievement solidifies Ms. Jones commitment to offering quality child care," said Pamela Jordan, 45th Services Division Family Member Programs chief. Of course, it is Mrs. Jones' customers who certify her commitment to excellence. 

"I think it's wonderful, very well deserved," said Mabel O'Quinn, 45th Civil Engineer Squadron conservation law enforcement officer, who has taken her 2- year-old daughter to Mrs. Jones for almost a year. Mrs. Jones' child care has been a large help to Mrs. O'Quinn while her husband is deployed to Iraq, she said. 

Mrs. Jones' husband, Tech. Sgt. Chad Jones, 45th Civil Engineer Squadron, is also currently serving overseas in Southwest Asia. 

Mrs. Jones has been providing daycare for base youngsters for three years, and currently has five full-time charges and four extended care children whose parents are reservists. On weekends when their parents go on duty, they come to Mrs. Jones' house. 

"I consider us one big family," said Mrs. Jones, "I started out wanting to stay home with my daughter and it blossomed from there." 

One of the fun things about the job to Mrs. Jones is the unique personality of each child under her care. "It's different every day and there's always lots of laughter," said Mrs. Jones. "Like right now, I have five sets of eyes staring at me!" 

Mrs. Jones also recognizes the stress of being a military family and goes the extra mile to help meet the family's needs as well as the child's. She remembers seven months ago when a new family arrived on the base personally making a map of the local area for them. Another time a family had a medical crisis and she helped out by taking care of their child outside of her normal hours. 

"I commend Candy for having an exceptional program which allows children to thrive, families to feel safe and confident in her, and make an outstanding positive contribution to the Patrick community," said Tina Washington, family child care coordinator with the 45th Mission Support Group, "we are so proud of her." 

It's all in a day's work for Mrs. Jones. 

"I feel very privileged to be a family child care provider," she said, "and I look forward to being one for many more years." Ms. Jones is currently working toward a national accreditation license through the National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) - the highest level of licensing for Family Child Care Providers, Ms. Jordan said.