FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. -- Nicole Chumley and her Family are new to Fort Campbell. As they adjust to life on a new Army post, Chumley is quickly learning that child care can sometimes be an issue.

"I just registered my 28-month-old with Child, Youth and School Services in hopes of using hourly care," said Chumley, on the Courier Facebook page, "but from what I'm hearing, it's hard to get a spot. I'm due with my second baby any day now...mama is going to need a break every now and then!"

Her story is a common one. As Families expand and newcomers get settled into the community, the ever-expanding wait list for child care gets longer. The Directorate of Public Works, along with CYSS, hopes to alleviate the problem with the addition of new Child Development Centers.

"The new centers at Gardner Hills, near Gate 10, are scheduled to be completed in March," said Sally Castleman, Chief of Master Planning. "There is one building designated for children ages 0-5, and another for children in the 6-10 range."

The $18.6 million project will offer some reprieve from the long wait with a prospected 150 child care slots.

The expansion, however, does not stop there. In a continuing effort to meet the growing demand for child care facilities on post, construction is currently underway for two CDCs near Fort Campbell High School. This project, valued at $18.5 million, is scheduled for completion in February 2011.

These new facilities, however, will not be an immediate fix for the current child care shortage, according to CYSS Director Katy Eccles. Currently, there is no exact date for which the centers are scheduled to open.

"We are hoping for the next school year," says Eccles.

While the time frame might be longer than many Families hoped for or expected, the end result is likely to be well worth the wait. Each new center is set to provide an additional 195 child care slots. Combined with the slots made available through the Gate 10 center, Fort Campbell will see potential day care solutions for more than 500 children.

With news of CDC construction circulating post, the number one concern voiced by parents seems to be the hope for more part-time and hourly child care.

"We are new here, and I don't have anyone to watch my kids so I can go to doctor appointments," said Carolyn Malick-Dionne, mother of two.

Many Families hope that the addition of new facilities will mean less rigid time frames and turn-aways for hourly child care.

In the meantime, it is recommended that parents interested in hourly child care contact Parent Central Services to obtain login information for Webtrac. Using this system, parents can try to book time slots and keep track of sudden availabilities.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16