I've been around infants and up since five years of age. I grew up with my younger sister Jessica (5 years younger) and two nephews Chase and Colin (now ages 10 and 14). Spending on average one weekend a month with both nephews for about 5 years after they moved back to California from Connecticut. I lived in California for 16 years and did child care work for our church weekly as a high school student, both paid and volunteer. I also worked summers with the Vacation Bible School children my Mother taught.
I've babysat my nephews (my oldest brother Micheal's boys) countless times and have become quite adequate at meeting the fundamental needs of children of any age. I am versed in diapers and hygiene as necessary, bottle feeding, proper bed time, active play and exercise, nutritious foods, dedicated focus on homework and studies, creative learning and thinking, arts, crafts, music, and providing them all possible chances to grow by allowing them "big boy" or "big girl" tasks according to their age and ability-- anything to get them away from the TV.
When my immediate family moved to Florida, I babysat two children in a family of four over the course of a year. Responsibilities included picking them up from school, helping with homework, engaging in all sorts of fun inside and outside the home, all the while helping them grow into upstanding young ones.
When I came to the University of Florida, studying and service jobs (server, busser, bartender) became the focus of income. After I moved to the university my parents moved to North Carolina to be near my other older brother Mark and his wife Heidi (Mark is thirteen years into the military). My older sister Michelle and her husband Pablo also moved to North Carolina from California about three years ago with their two children, my niece and nephew (Ashley and Samuel). Every time I visit (since I've had to be away from Chase and Colin still in California), these two little ones are wonderful to be around. I hang out with them as much as possible when I am visiting family there.
My brother Mark has recently had a little girl Katelyn (making the final count 2 nieces, 3 nephews, 2 older brothers, one older sister, one younger sister), and I had a chance to see her about a month ago.
I am currently studying Mechanical Engineering at UF under the 100% Bright Futures Scholarship (currently a 3.52 GPA with 116 completed credits). Funny enough, I started as an English major, and am working my hardest to complete a more technically oriented degree for a more promising future. I have been in Gainesville for four years now, but am still a couple years away from graduation. This past year has been difficult in settling down with a major that I am comfortable in, and I am currently working out what the best course of action will be for completion.
This is where childcare comes in, to give me a chance to work with children again instead of the service industry, or for a company. I need a chance to work out the next stage of my life and I feel working with children would allow me the reflection time I need to clarify my priorities and decide a path that's right for me, especially in the rapidly changing world around us.