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48 FW expands child care opportunities

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A child of two active duty Airmen slides down a slide at the Child Development Center-East at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, Oct. 31, 2018. RAF Lakenheath has expanded its child care services off-base to help Liberty Airmen and their families receive child care without delay. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Christopher S. Sparks)

ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England -- Royal Air Force Lakenheath has expanded child care options to include off-base locations for Liberty Airmen and their families.

Beginning in September 2018, the expansion has allowed Airmen and their families to access child care without delay.

“Over the past year across the U.S. Air Force, staffing for child care has been at an all-time low,” said Lt. Col. Kelli Moon, 48th Force Support Squadron commander. “Overseas, it’s even more of a challenge because you have a smaller pool of people to hire.”

The expansion includes seven new locations around the local area, opening up 171 additional spaces for child care. Additionally, the approved off-base locations will allow Airmen to apply for the subsidy program. Airmen will pay the cost of on-base child care and the Air Force will cover the remaining cost.

In an effort to alleviate limitations with staffing and space, the Liberty Wing has worked with the local community, Manpower and Personnel at higher headquarters and Air Force Services Activity to find a solution that will work with families across the base.

“Each location has been vetted by the Air Force Services Activity to ensure they meet U.S. Air Force standards of care,” Moon said.

Liberty Airmen and their families in need of child care are put into a waitlist at the Child Development Center on-base.

Initial requests for enrollment begins by visiting the MilitaryChildCare.com website and is available once the service member is notified they have a permanent change in assignment.

The newly available off-base locations will serve as a temporary solution for families to receive child care while they wait for spaces to become vacant at the CDC.

“It’s definitely a win-win situation,” said Rhonda Nuñez, spouse of an active duty Airman living on RAF Lakenheath. “It’s a frustrating to be on a waitlist for something such as child care. It’s definitely a positive for people who don’t have many options.”

For more information, contact the Family Child Care office at 01638522170, Child Development Center-East at 01638523285, or Child Development Center-West at 01638525812.