WIESBADEN, Germany - Wiesbaden pre-school and part-day toddler children have another option for care, thanks to creative use of space and a rapid renovation project at the Hainerberg School Age Center.

"Our numbers were down because we had 50 percent fewer children enrolled at the Hainerberg School Age Center due to Permanent Change of Station moves," said Katherine Vahrenkamp, Hainerberg SAC director.

With a steady demand for hourly care and waiting lists at the other Wiesbaden Child Development Centers, Child and Youth Services staff had been using a Child Development Home -- former housing apartments -- in Hainerberg Housing to serve parents and their children.

But as garrison needs called for a different use of the space, CYS needed to find an alternative, Vahrenkamp said. "They looked at where to move the children in the CD Homes."

With fewer than expected children this year at the Hainerberg SAC and no waiting lists, the building was not using its space efficiently, according to Deborah Jackson, Wiesbaden's CYS services administrator.

After getting permission from higher headquarters and combining one of the SAC rooms to provide the same quality of care for those enrolled in the SAC program, the Directorate of Public Works was brought in to remodel the space.

"They had to add toddler-sized sinks, bathrooms and a diaper changing area," Vahrenkamp said. "All-in-all, they were finished in two weeks. Once our Installation Management Command-Europe CYS chief inspected and approved the room, we were ready to move the children in."

Vahrenkamp explained that with the staff likewise moving from the CD Homes to the Hainerberg SAC in mid-November, the children enjoyed continuity of care.

"The transition went very smoothly," she said, praising the outstanding support of the garrison, DPW and CYS officials.

"We lost a room at the SAC, but we adjusted by combining the SAC Art Room with another room at the facility," Vahrenkamp said.

With the move, parents and children now have another fully approved Child Development facility offering pre-school and part-day programs -- including security cameras and extra staffing, she added, "definitely an improvement.

"We're doing our best to meet the needs of the community," Vahrenkamp concluded.