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CDC, FCC programs continue to support families

Gail Schultz, 66th Force Support Squadron Child and Youth Program assistant, plays a card game with Jameson Hagerty, right, and William Vergato, at the Child Development Center at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., May 14. Specialists from the 66 FSS are continuing to work closely with Public Health officials to increase enrollment capacities at child care centers across the installation. (Courtesy Photo)

Gail Schultz, 66th Force Support Squadron Child and Youth Program assistant, plays a card game with Jameson Hagerty, right, and William Vergato, at the Child Development Center at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., May 14. Specialists from the 66 FSS are continuing to work closely with Public Health officials to increase enrollment capacities at child care centers across the installation. (Courtesy Photo)

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Specialists from the 66th Force Support Squadron are working to develop the next steps in child care availability across the installation. 

Officials from the Child Development Center and School Age programs here are coordinating with public health officials to slowly increase capacity while still maintaining COVID-19 precautions.

“Although restrictions are lifting throughout the community, ours are still very much in place to ensure the children and staff stay safe and follow all protocols set by Public Health,” said Kristin Melvin, 66 FSS CDC director.

Throughout the last year, the CDC staff has continuously updated their COVID playbook to include additional layers of sanitation and physical distancing, including staggered arrival times and minimizing staff movement between classrooms.

Melvin said that, currently, priority placement continues to go to single- or dual-military families who have been deemed essential for in-person duty with no option to telework.

To expand child care options for Hanscom families, FSS officials are searching for military spouses to provide licensed in home child care.

“Our FCC [Family Child Care] providers have all the same certifications and training as our CDC and School Age providers, just with the added flexibility for hours and location,” said Robin Morris, 66 FSS training and curriculum specialist.

The FCC program offers child care options for children ages two weeks to 12 years old.

Certified FCC providers are able to care for up to six children, including their own. They must have current base affiliation, meet specific qualifications, and pass an extensive background check.

“This is a great way to help families who are on the CDC waitlist to receive care,” said Morris. “It’s also a great option for children who may do better in a smaller home setting.”

Additional information about CDC and FCC availability at Hanscom can be found at www.militarychildcare.com.

Individuals interested in becoming a certified child care provider can contact Morris at Robin.Morris.2@us.af.mil.