Robins CDCs offer top-notch child care

  • Published
  • By Angela Woolen
  • Robins Public Affairs
When choosing a childcare provider, parents need the peace of mind their child will be in the best possible care.

They want to know the people providing that care will ensure their child's well-being and are committed to the child's growth and development. 

Well, the staffs at the Robins Child Development Centers here provide that peace of mind to the parents of more than 250 children.

As two of only three facilities within a 50-mile radius that are nationally accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the base CDCs are held to a high standard for quality care. 

Not only are they required to maintain NAEYC standards, but they're also required to maintain Defense Department standards. And those standards are under constant scrutiny. There are monthly and annual unannounced inspections from public health, fire and safety; there is an unannounced yearly Multi-Disciplinary Inspection and annual unannounced DOD/Air Force Higher Headquarters inspections.  

The CDCs provide care for military, civilian and contract employees' children ages 6-weeks to 5-years old. Priority for care goes to active duty military members, followed by DOD civilians. 

Contractors can receive care only if space is available, and a waiting list doesn't exist for higher-priority families. Fees are determined by a total family income.

Some of the benefits of using the CDCs are that they're part of the installation community. The staff understands the unique pressures of military families, and they know the mission comes first.  

"During deployments, TDYs or installation exercises, parents don't need to worry about the care of their children," said Kerri Fox, CDC East director. "Military members can focus on their mission and rest assured that their children are receiving excellent care."

The CDCs are also family friendly and encourages parent participation and involvement.  

"Parents are welcome all the time," said Fox.  "Parents can stop by at any time to spend time in the classroom, participate in activities or just observe their child on the Closed Circuit Television System located at the front desk.  

"We love to have parents visit to play guitar, share cultural experiences or simply read a book to the class," she added.

The CDCs implement the Creative Curriculum as a resource for teaching the children through play.  In every classroom, including infants, you will find a weekly lesson plan explaining specific teaching experiences that the children will have to learn and practice life skills. One example of learning through play is from a simple cooking activity.  

"Children learn about math from measuring ingredients and science from what happens when the ingredients are mixed together," said Fox. "Cooking offers opportunities to develop gross and fine-motor skills from mixing the ingredients to using measuring cups to scoop the exact amount needed."

Learning through play was seen in action in one of the preschool rooms. Amber Holley, lead training technician, uses growing plants to teach the children life skills and help them prepare for future challenges. By caring for the plants, the children learn responsibility, observation skills and self-confidence. She also encourages a foundation for a healthy lifestyle, by incorporating "kid's Yoga" into her daily routine.  

As Holley and the children lie on the floor peddling imaginary bicycles, she asks the children to call out suggestions for new movements.    

"The main thing is thinking on your feet," she said.

The centers are also enrolled in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Child and Adult Care Food Program, ensuring the CDCs follow strict guidelines regarding the amount and types of food served to the children. It also allows the program to provide breakfast, lunch and a snack in addition to infant food and formula - at no additional cost to the families.

What to know: If you have questions about the Robins CDCs or would like more information, call DSN 468-5805 or 468-3080.