Naval Base Kitsap to add classrooms for Child Development Center

Project cost is $2.1 million; renovations to be completed by September

A $2.1 million project will see Naval Base Kitsap’s renovation of the Jackson Park Community Center classrooms into a Child Development Center in April.

According to a Navy press release, Naval Facilities Engineering Command awarded the project back in December and contractors are looking to complete the renovations by September. The newly renovated section of the facility, also known as Buildign 780, will add five classrooms and allow the Child Development Center staff to care for the growth and development of 56 additional children ranging in age from six weeks to three years old.

The upgrades will benefit service members and civilian families currently on the waitlist and in need of immediate childcare. The three centers already at Naval Base Kitsap average 350 to 400 children on the immediate need waitlist.

“2020 is the year of intention; to actively make efforts to meet our families’ needs for childcare,” Claudette Mohn said, NBK Child and Youth Programs director. “Converting the Jackson park Community Center to expand childcare spaces is just one of the few ways we meet their needs.”

“Renovating the community center will show the community that NBK is responsive to meeting the demand for childcare,” Mohn said. “We’re going to increase customer satisfaction and confidence that their child is going to be taken care of using a Navy program. We can certainly exhaust some of the waitlist.”

Culinary Specialist 1st Class Rechele Crawford, mother of five and assigned to NBK, spoke about the necessity of new classrooms and the importance it has for her and her family.

“I’ve utilized the local CDCs for seven years now,” she said. “All of my kids have been in and out of the CDCs and availability always depended on their age group. The longest I’ve waited was about two years.”

MilitaryChildcare.com (MCC.com) gives families an anticipated placement time based on the family’s priority type and childcare space in a requested program. Families can increase their chances of receiving a space sooner by researching and submitting requests earlier and requesting all viable programs.

“The child development center is a great benefit that service members should take advantage of,” Crawford said. “The more availability that exists, the better able they are to support the parents and that in turn helps support the mission.”

Another way to combat the long waitlists and additional needs for facilities is the child development home program. CDH is a program in which caregivers provide childcare services out of their homes. These homes are required to meet Navy childcare guidelines and many of them are licensed by the State of Washington.

To learn more about the CDH program, contact CDH Program Director Christine Anderson at 360-476-7484.

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