6 benefits of military child care
You want to do the best you can for your child’s development. Wouldn’t it be a relief to go to work knowing your little one will be in good hands? Your installation’s Child Development Center has caregivers and educators who ensure your child is constantly immersed in a social, developmentally appropriate and safe environment.
If you still have concerns about leaving your child in military child care, consider these factors.
1. Children always come first.
They don’t call it a Child Development Center for nothing. At these centers, children are the center of staff members’attention. Everything they do, from the activities to the food, is planned with your child’s best interest at heart. Daily needs are met, and teachers leave no stone unturned to reach each child’s potential.
2. They are being thoroughly looked after.
It has always been part of each CDC’s mission to ensure the safety of children. In military child care, your child is always accounted for, and name-to-face counts are taken on the hour, every hour. Rest assured that having a child in military child care means having a well protected child who will be secure at all times.
3. Staff members are reliable and well educated.
Extensive background checks are conducted on all employees. Staff members wearing green or blue aprons have been cleared. Staff member wearing red aprons have not yet been cleared and will always be with colleagues who have been. Each employee must attend trainings and continuing education courses to remain up-to-date with current teaching methods and regulations.
4. We have a curriculum, but we have fun with it!
You know the saying, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.“ Though children learn through play, the CDC uses the Creative Curriculum as the foundation for teaching and interacting with children. Sarah Jones, lead trainer for Child and Youth Services (CYS) in the Rheinland-Pfalz garrison explains, “Kids are learning through play. It is about the experiences they have that enhance their developmental progression. They don’t learn through flashcards. However, our curriculum allows for more intentional activities that are in line with the objectives we have for the children.“
Teachers use explorative ways of educating that are individually tailored, since not every child is the same. For example, teachers come up with creative tasks to encourage interaction and conversation. This explorative learning method makes use of children’s natural curiosity. As a result, your child’s sensory perception is broadened, providing the basis for learning about concepts such as play, social-emotional skills, basic writing, and principles of technology and mechanics.
CDCs do not rely on technology to entertain your children; therefore, you won’t find televisons here. Teachers and other children are in constant communication with your child.
If you are apprehensive about how CDCs are run, visit one of the centers to see what they are all about. Jessica Terrel, director of Landstuhl Child Development Center 1, says “I would be more than happy to take parents on a tour around our center and show them what we do everyday. I would let the interactions between the teachers and children, as well as seeing the children develop through play, speak for themselves."
5. A healthy outside starts from the inside.
Meals provided (breakfast, lunch and snacks) are always healthy and include a variety of foods. Family-style dining is incorporated in all meals to enhance engagement and communication between children and caregivers.
Children play outside twice a day for a total of 1.5 hours daily. This enables them to get fresh air, strengthen their immune systems, see and play in a different environment, and be exposed to the great outdoors. All of these factors contribute to the development of balanced and healthy children.
6. Military child care is exceptional.
Military child care fees are subsidized in order to maintain affordability. There are also many regulations, such as the AR 608-10 for Army and AFI 34-248 for the Air Force, that govern center operations.
CDCs have your child’s safety and best interest at heart. The staff knows how important it is for children of parents who are supporting the mission to be cared for. Lead trainer Sarah Jones explains, “Our goal is for parents to focus on their work while they are away supporting the mission, whether it be deployment, or everyday work. We are partners in raising your child, and we’d like for you to go to work and know that your child is in the best place possible."
Director Jessica Terrel says “The value of having a child in a social, engaging, experience-filled environment cannot be matched. My child is in constant interaction with peers and teachers, and that makes my work day much easier."
From the facility directors to the cooks who prepare your child’s meals, CDC employees prepare children for kindergarten and beyond by instilling trust, communication and creativity.
Curious about the curriculum? Visit teachingstrategies.com to see how the activities planned for children enhance their overall social and physical development.