2017-09-08 / Front Page

CDC WEST OPENS

Facility reopens as full daycare site
BY LAURA LEVERING
Fort Gordon Public Affairs Office


Col. Todd Turner, Fort Gordon Garrison commander, celebrates the reopening of Child Development Center West with a group of children from the center’s pre-kindergarten class Aug. 29. 
PHOTO BY LAURA LEVERING / FORT GORDON PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE Col. Todd Turner, Fort Gordon Garrison commander, celebrates the reopening of Child Development Center West with a group of children from the center’s pre-kindergarten class Aug. 29. PHOTO BY LAURA LEVERING / FORT GORDON PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE Child Development Center West reopened its doors Aug. 28 after being closed for 11 months. Child Youth Services and Fort Gordon Garrison command celebrated the occasion with a ribbon cutting ceremony and tour of the renovated facility.

Col. Todd Turner, Fort Gordon Garrison commander, explained the background behind its temporary closure.

On June 14, 2016, a sprinkler burst at CDC East, displacing 130 children plus staff members. Those affected were temporarily relocated to CDC West, forcing it to go from an hourly care facility to a fulltime daycare facility while CDC East underwent repairs.

During that time, it became apparent the need for full-time daycare was increasing. So when CDC East reopened, CDC West closed its doors for renovations that would enable it to permanently operate as a fulltime daycare.

Previously, CDC West had two classrooms and only offered hourly care. It also housed the School of Knowledge, Inspiration, Exploration and Skills Unlimited program, which CYS and Garrison officials are looking into restarting.

Now the center has five classrooms, a new playground, and offers full day and hourly care for infant through preschool. The end state is an increased capacity of childcare slots including 74 full-time; something the community desperately needed as Fort Gordon grows.

CDC West also has a pre-kindergarten class to supplement three classes at the Pre-K Annex. And for the first time in Fort Gordon CYS history, all three CDCs will offer hourly care.

“This is a tremendous opportunity,” Turner said. “We’ve taken an opportunity to adapt what we were doing, gaining efficiency in how we delivered the service, and we’re delivering a better service at a higher rate.”

Angela Davis, CYS coordinator, said it was a long process but well-worth it.

“We are excited and we are ready to go,” Davis said.

Reopening CDC West will have a tremendous impact on a lot of people; especially those who were on a waitlist for fulltime child care. Of the 170-plus children waiting for care, 77 were Category 1. That number has been drastically reduced by about two-thirds, Turner said. And it’s only the beginning.

“Army Cyber Command will move here in the next 36 months bringing 1,000 or so employees and their family members … and we are going to continue to advocate for a new CDC – either a wing or a new CDC building,” Turner said.

Adding to the celebration, Turner praised CYS staff for passing its annual higher headquarters inspection with flying colors. Last year, CYS scored a 94 percent. This year, it received its highest rating ever at 97.9 percent.

Turner said one of the most important things Fort Gordon does is provide quality child care. Without it, the mission would suffer.

“These people can’t focus on their jobs doing intelligence, cyber, signal, electronic warfare … without trusting their children to you fine ladies,” Turner said.

Josephine Lee, CDC West facility manager, said she and the rest of CYS staff look forward to continuing affordable, excellent care.

“We want to meet the needs of the community,” Lee said.

To reserve hourly care, children must be enrolled in CYS and their registration information up-to-date. Reservations can be made on a daily basis by calling the facility in which they wish to use hourly care.

“We can’t always promise they’ll get the day they want, because to be honest, hourly care slots go fast,” Davis said. “But we will do the best that we can to accommodate as many families as we can on a daily basis.”

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