Children, parents “Get a Break”

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Ellora Remington
  • 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
For military or non-military parents working on Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., the 19th Force Support Squadron offers two Child Development Centers for children ranging from the ages of six weeks to five years old.

The hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. The two centers are located at buildings 1257 and 1990. The prices will differ by the household income and the centers charge by the week, said Denise Gregory, a child development program technician.

Each month the centers offer one Saturday where parents get the opportunity to "get a break" from their child for a couple of hours.

An Approval letter must be granted before the parents can use the "Give Parents a Break" program, and it can be approved through their first sergeant, Family Advocacy, the base chaplain or the center itself.

"Give Parents a Break" is done once a month for parents who have children enrolled in the centers, said Gregory. This program is not offered to civilians, even if their child is enrolled.

Staff Sgt. Lakeisha West, 19th Airlift Wing command section executive administrator and parent to five year old Jayla, who attends the center, said the program is awesome.

"I used (the "Give Parents a Break program") when my daughter was younger," West said. "I am a single parent so that helped so much."

Both centers offer referrals to therapy for the children that need it while they stay at the CDC, and it's only offered during the school year, said Gregory.

Inflac counselor is another program for anyone who needs to talk off the record. It is there for the care takers at work and the parents who have anything to ask about parenting or deployed stresses, said Gregory.

Some of the extra programs for the deployed spouses are an extra "Give Parents a Break" each month, the Inflac counselor, and the center also sends pictures to deployed spouses, said Gregory.

If someone needs to bring a child back to the center after returning from deployment, the center's facility workers can work to get that person back in to the system in a timely fashion, said West.

The Center keeps the children on a routine with plenty of activities. The children start with breakfast, following circle time, (gathering time to play, sing, or read a book), then snacks, free play (the curriculum they are teaching), lunch, more free play (outside if the weather allows), snack, naps, and then they prepare to go home.

Another great thing about the center is that most of the caretakers have been there for approximately 30 years, so they're very familiar with taking care of children and are very knowledgeable, said Gregory.

For more information or questions about putting your child into either CDC on base contact Roveta Simmons, the CDC director, or Gregory at 987-6130.