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Child Development Centers help keep mission going

Sam Conner reads a book to Georgia Rupert at the New Horizon Child Development Center on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The Child Development Centers goal is to make sure every military member has access to quality affordable child care. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airman Emily Rupert)

Sam Conner reads a book to Georgia Rupert at the New Horizon Child Development Center on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The Child Development Centers goal is to make sure every military member has access to quality affordable child care. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airman Emily Rupert)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – Caring for Team Wright-Patt goes farther than just caring for the military member. It also means taking care of that individual’s family.

The four Child Development Centers spread across Area A, Area B and the Prairies housing area keep the team going at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Not having available child care would be detrimental to the mission, officials say.

“Our Child and Youth Program’s mission statement says it best,” said Necoleia Friend, WPAFB’s Child Development Program director. “We are here to ‘assist DOD military and civilian personnel in balancing the competing demands of the accomplishment of the DOD mission and family life by managing and delivering a system of quality, available, and affordable programs and services for eligible children and youth up to 18 years of age.’”

Base leaders said the role CDC facilities play in keeping the installation running smoothly is vital in the effort to “Strengthen and care for our team,” an updated line of effort in the 88th Air Base Wing’s new strategic plan.

A line of effort links multiple tasks and missions to focus energy toward establishing operational and strategic conditions.

“Dependable child care keeps the mission going,” said Col. Paul Burger, 88th Mission Support Group commander. “Without a safe, reliable place for our children, parents working on the installation would find it nearly impossible to devote their full effort to their jobs. Our child care facilities strengthen and care for our team by keeping some of our most beloved assets safe, healthy and loved.”

The goal of Child Development Centers is to go above and beyond just taking care of children, administrators say. They aim to love and nurture every child that steps through their doors.

“We want you to know that you can bring your children in to someone who loves them and cares for them,” said Sam Conner, a New Horizons child care technician. “That allows you to go to work and do what you need to do without having to worry about your child being taken care of or loved — because that’s what we do. “Getting to be in their lives and watch them grow up allows us the joy to be a part of your lives and experience the triumphs and trials with you.”

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base’s CDCs are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and certified by the Department of Defense and Air Force. Children of active-duty military and DOD civilians are eligible to enroll.

For more information, visit www.wrightpattfss.com/child-development-center.