Youth Center program keeps kids entertained while parents work

Marcia Gill, Robins Youth Center program assistant, leads activities for a group of youth at the facility. Beginning Aug. 3, the center will offer before-and after-school care for children between 5 and 12 years of age. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tommie Horton)

Marcia Gill, Robins Youth Center program assistant, leads activities for a group of youth at the facility. Beginning Aug. 3, the center will offer before-and after-school care for children between 5 and 12 years of age. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tommie Horton)

Eight-year-old Aaron Franklin creates artwork with a group of students at the center. . (U.S. Air Force photo by Tommie Horton)

Eight-year-old Aaron Franklin creates artwork with a group of students at the center. . (U.S. Air Force photo by Tommie Horton)

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- It's no secret. Being a working parent can be difficult.

Because of that, Robins Youth Center's Before and After School Program helps parents keep their minds on the mission, knowing their school-aged children are in good hands while they're hard at work.

Linda Cleveland, program coordinator, said Robins' active-duty military members, Defense Department civilians, retirees and base contractors are eligible to enroll their children in the program.

The program provides care for children age 5 who are enrolled in kindergarten through children age 12 who are still in elementary school.

The program runs Mondays through Fridays from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

"The environment is youth-friendly and there are lots of activities to participate in," she said. "The program provides breakfast and afternoon snacks."

The center offers different clubs that the youth can participate in during the school year, Cleveland said. "The Edge" magazine advertises the center's monthly activities. 

Cleveland said the program provides quality care at reasonable cost.

"The program is accredited through the Council of Accreditation," she said. "The program assistants are highly trained on different topics. If customers want quality, then this is the best program."

Fees for the programs are calculated based on the total family income, Cleveland said.

Cleveland said the program has five vans to transport children. Once spots on the vans are taken, children can be placed on a waiting list.

Parents can come by the Youth Center across from Robins' main Fitness Center to pick up an application or contact the center at 327-6834 to request paperwork be sent to them via email.