Story and by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Marissa Valentine
While overseas it can be difficult to find childcare especially if your family is new to the command. A lot of parents have trouble finding a babysitter they feel comfortable entrusting to take proper care of their children.
You could say these parents need “a breather” or “a break” and that’s where the employees at the Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka’s Child Development Center (CDC) come in.
Once a month Yokosuka’s (CDC) offers a Saturday special event, offering childcare known as “Give Parents a break” night.
“If parents would like to have a date night or even just a night to themselves we offer this
service three times a month, once at the main CDC, once at the school-age care center and once at the Ikego CDC,” said Main CDC Program Director,Christine Williams.
Williams add that all children are welcome, including children not registered with the CDC.
The break night can be booked 30 days in advance, and the last day to book is the Wednesday prior to the night offered.
The fee is $4.00 per hour, from 5 p.m. until 11.p.m and parents are welcome to book as many hours they would like. The rooms are separated by age groups, infants, pre-toddler,toddler, pre-school, and school age children.
“Everybody who works during these Saturday special openings is a Child Youth Program (CYP) employee, and are CPR and first aid qualified, as well as all the other trainings required by the military,” said Williams. “Parents leave their child in a very safe environment,” added Williams.” We follow the same procedures and regulations as our regular openings.”
“Overall, I found it very beneficial,” said, Courtney Routley a CDC customer.”Being pretty new to Yokosuka, my husband and I were nervous about leaving our newborn with an individual babysitter. The parents’ night out allowed us to enjoy a date night because we knew our son was safe with a qualified and trained staff,”said Routley.
At the main CDC and at the Ikego CDC children ranging in age from six weeks old to 12 years
old are welcome, whereas at the school age care program only children ages 5-12 years old are allowed.
“When the program first began there was only one room due to low parent participation, now that the program has become so popular the number of rooms has increased to five to meet the needs of the number of children in attendance,”said Williams.
“We have had such a great turn out we are almost at full capacity, if the demand is there and we know ahead of time, we will get extra staff to accommodate so we can open up extra classrooms,” said Williams.
Additional information can be obtained by calling the Child development center at 243- 5964.