Embracing Adventure “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” ~~Hellen Keller

In-Processing as a Child & Youth Program Assistant

Coin given to me on one of my last days of work.

At the end of the week after turning in my paperwork, I got an email indicating my in processing would be toward the end of the following week in the same office where I’d been dropping off the paperwork. I would need to bring my Social Security card (or most current W-2), passport, bank statement information, and beneficiary information such as address and their social security number. I was told failure to provide all these documents would postpone the date of hire. Also being late by more than 15 minutes would mean I’d have to wait another two weeks for the next group in-processing date.

My husband happened to have been on leave the same week I would be starting, but it was nice that we would have at least a few days together in the beginning of the week. My job would be Monday through Friday so I would always have Saturday and Sunday off. I’ve been working since I was 18, and this was the first time I’d have weekends off. All of my previous jobs required that I work at least one if not both of those days, so that was kind of nice. This would also be the first time that I would steadily be off work before 10 to midnight. While I occasionally worked a day shift in my other jobs, my regular schedule was always 2nd or 3rd shift hours, so that was kind of nice as well.

When I went in for in-processing, it was more paperwork, pretty much just filling out the same information (address, phone, etc.) a number of times plus beneficiary info (who would get my outstanding paychecks if I died before they were paid out) and bank info. I also had to sign a statement saying I don’t advocate the overthrow of the government and wouldn’t join any groups that advocate the overthrow of the governement while employed. The HR assistant mentioned a group that meets on base and where and said I can’t go there. I wouldn’t plan to. It seems silly to me to have a group advocating the overthrow of the government on a post where everyone either works for or is a family member of someone who works for it.

While I was there, the supervisor of the center I would be working for called wondering where I was. They hadn’t told him they’d been closed in the morning and moved my time from 9 to 1. Apparently, I was supposed to go over there after finishing with HR. While it wasn’t a big deal, I kind of wish they’d told me that head of time.

PHV Child Development Center (actually taken on the day I out-processed)

After finishing the paperwork there, I headed over the job location and met with the assistant director. He went over a bunch of things like the job description and what’s expected for performance reviews, the touching policy (basically it’s okay to hug kids if they hug you first but not to demand hugs, to hold their hand crossing the street, and give backrubs at nap time, but obviously inappropriate touching should be avoided). Also prohibited is yelling or physical ‘discipline’. I signed several papers indicating I understood what I was presented and what was expected.

He had a meeting to go to and mentioned that when he went there maybe I could start my hours of observation as I’m required to have 16 hours of observation before being put into a room as “in ratio”. I told him I could if needbe but would need to let my husband know. I don’t think he realized my husband was waiting until he’d asked if my husband was deployed, and I said he was on leave and out in the car. He offered that I could call him and let him know we’d be at least an hour. I told him he’d planned on that much, I just needed to let him know if it would be longer. I was actually kind of glad when he settled on just having me go in early the next day. I’d only eaten yogurt planning on an hour or two at HR, not for being out til 6pm.

Before I left, I was also given a few pages of name tag stickers. He told me these would be temporary until we knew what room I’d be in. If I was with older kids, they’d give me a hard nametag, but the younger ones pull at them so we’d stick with stickers in that case. While I didn’t know if I’d stay in that room, it was mentioned that I’d probably be put in the room with toddlers first. My first room for observation ended up being infants and pre-toddlers, but my main room for most of my employment duration was with pre-toddlers and toddlers, so I went through A LOT of stickers. I’ll tell you about my first day sometime, but next time, I’ll tell you about Hakim’s Imbiss und Steakhaus.

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2 Thoughts on “In-Processing as a Child & Youth Program Assistant

  1. Thank you for posting your job experience. I’ve been going through the process for a few months (a lot of waiting) but I start work tomorrow. I’m used to working with kids but I know the CDC can be quite different… Do you have any tips? Thanks in advance!

    • You’re welcome. Congrats on the new job. I guess it depends on where you end up. I mostly worked with toddlers and preschoolers, so any advice I would have would probably not be useful if you end up working with babies and pretods. Where I was, we had to do packets to work toward getting pay raises, so I recommend starting them early and working ahead if it’s an option. Other than that I can’t think of any general advice, though if you have specific questions I can try to answer. At some point I plan on doing a post with some of my favorite art projects and maybe some with songs and activities.

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