The Jewish Child Care Association's Family Day Care Program honored its Queens day-care providers with a luncheon at DaMikelle II in Rego Park last Thursday. These providers help maintain Jewish culture and religion.
"At each one of these events, they bring their cultures with them. We don't want them to give up the culture they brought with them. We want them to continue it," Rebecca Koffler, director of the early childhood program, said of the women who attended.
It wasn't long before an old Russian gypsy song was dedicated to Koffler and she joined the women on the dance floor.
The luncheon, which featured authentic Bukharian cuisine, to match the music, allowed the women to take a break from their arduous jobs and enjoy themselves.
"We take care of the children during the day," said Asya Inoyatov, a day care provider. It is part of her job to feed children hot kosher meals and teach them music and English.
Inoyatov, who has lived in Rego Park for 12 years, said she works closely with the parents in order to focus on the children's best interests. As a result, day-care providers are given copies of medical forms and adhere to nap schedules.
Suetlana Mardukhayeva now works as a group family day-care provider, which means 10 children come to her house each day.
"We're trying to understand them each individually," she said, adding that constant communication with parents facilitates this.
In addition, music and English teachers are sent to the day-care providers' homes, but not only for the children. "I'm studying English with them," Mardukhayeva said.
Employees of the JCCA's home-based child care program are trained in accordance with city and state regulations, which includes medical examines, fingerprinting and English lessons. Day- care workers are visited by JCCA staff a minimum of eight times a year, Koffler said.
Additionally, Mardukhayeva said day-care providers are retrained every two years.
Everyone appreciates the child care program employees, Mardukhayeva said, who pointed out that they try to raise children with "all our hearts and love."
There are some 80 Queens women employed in the JCCA's child-care program, which is designed for children between the ages of 6 weeks and 5 years. JCCA does provide English language and Jewish enrichment training, in addition to other fields, Koffler said.
Reach editorial intern Jennifer Misthal by e-mail at news@times
©2004 Community News Group
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