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New CDC set to open soon

Children at Patrick AFB Child Development Center participate in a ground-breaking ceremony in May 2008. The new CDC was set to open in mid November 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo/Chris Calikins)

Children at Patrick AFB Child Development Center participate in a ground-breaking ceremony in May 2008. The new CDC was set to open in mid November 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo/Chris Calikins)

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Approximately 20 months after the ground was broken - May of 2008 to be exact - a brand new, state-of-the-art Child Development Center is getting ready to open at its new location in Central Housing.

Currently taking care of 174 children, the new facility will be able to accommodate 254 children, according to Ms. Susan Pollock, CDC director. "Based on the children we currently have on our waiting list, we expect to be at capacity for children ages six weeks to 24 months. We expect to have some openings for children ages two through five years," she said.

Ms. Pollock also said eligible patrons include active duty military, Department of Defense civilian employees (both NAF and APF), reservists on active duty or inactive duty training and DOD contractors.

The new center will now offer 31,055 square feet of modern comfort for her young visitors, "substantially bigger" than before, she said."Not only that, we will now have a brand-new conference room and a room designed solely for training, which we have not had in the past."

"But all our staff members are very well trained ... this will just make it better for all of us," she said with a smile.

Aside from moving into a bigger, newer, more advanced facility, Ms. Pollock said there is also one other intangible that will make it better for everyone.

"The biggest benefit is that the facility is being built specifically for the children," she said.
"We are creating quality learning environments that will provide natural lighting, easy access to age appropriate playgrounds, a state-of-the-art-kitchen, child-sized sinks, toilets, and water fountains. The new facility will meet all current safety, fire and health requirements," she said.

"We are all very excited about moving into a new facility and being able to meet the child care demands here at the 45th Space Wing," she said.

She also said her office will be asking for some volunteer support in the near future as the move-in day comes closer.

"Additionally, the Family Child Care Office will relocate into the new facility which will be more convenient for parents in need of child care. Although we do not have a firm move in date at this time, we will be putting the word out for volunteers to help assemble furniture and toys in the near future," she said.