FORT RILEY, Kan. - In an effort to improve access to child care for Soldiers, Family members and workers on post, Fort Riley cut the ribbon on another child development center, this one at Camp Whitside near Irwin Army Community Hospital.

The CDC, which is the second of six new facilities expected to be complete by 2010, will offer 198 spaces for children from infants to preschoolers.

During the ribbon cutting ceremony, in recognition of 2009 being named Year of the Noncommissioned Officer, Sgt. 1st Class Cassandra Lane made remarks about the newest CDC opening and what it means to Families, both military and civilian.

"Being a mom is one of the most satisfying and most important jobs in the world, but being a noncommissioned officer, a leader, is also an important job in the Army," said Lane.

Lane was introduced by Capt. Michael Leeper, of U.S. Army Garrison Headquarters and Headquarters Company. He described Lane as being a woman who has a "complex life," that of being a mother of three with a fourth child on the way. According to Leeper, she is adept at balancing personal and professional responsibilities.

The ceremony concluded with the cutting of the ribbon and tours of the $6.2 million facility and the individual rooms, which are equipped for the ages of the children who will occupy them starting Jan. 26.

All of the rooms have bathroom facilities, including a sink where children can learn to properly wash their hands after using the bathroom.

In the infant rooms, fire cribs are located next to double sliding doors, allowing staff easy exit in case of an emergency.

During the tours, as parents flowed from room to room, staff were available to answer any questions visitors might have.

According to Lorraine Brown, facility director, the CDC's purpose is to support the mission by providing Families with affordable child care so they can focus on the task at hand, as well as provide kids with a head start in life.

"We want to give kids a good beginning so they can succeed," Brown said.
Although the Whitside CDC is staffed, Brown said they are still hiring for other CDCs.

"We still need people who love and care for children," she said.

To apply for child care positions on post, visit the Civilian Personnel Advisory Center in Building 319 on Main Post.