The Department of Defense recently acknowledged Fort Jackson's youth services programs for having the "highest level of program quality" by reaccrediting the entire installation's school age programs.

School-Age Centers offer before and after school programs, weekend activities during the school year, and summer care and camps during school vacations and must be DOD certified.

Accreditation of school age programs highlights the professionalism of staff and helps Families know their children will be well-taken care of while parents are at work.

"Accreditation means as a program we have met the most rigorous standards possible in this industry," said Allison Stephens, a program associate with the Hood Street School Age Center. It means "we operate in the spirit of excellence."

"This also gives parents piece of mind knowing the school age programs they choose are of the highest quality and the staff are acknowledged for their hard work, dedication and pride," said Sunny Bolton, the post's CYS coordinator.

Juanita Jackson, assistant director of the Imboden School Age Center agreed.

The reaccreditation "has helped us with the well-being of our children and parents by helping them feel welcome and comfortable," she said.

Not only does reaccreditation positively reflect on the facilities, but shows employee's dedication as well.

For Rochelle Parsons, a CYS program assistant at the Imboden School Age Center, accreditation "means validation. We know that we have a job to do, and being reaccredited just confirms that we are excelling at what we do."

Other workers agreed.

"Being reaccredited proves what I've known all along - that the caregivers in our program are always going above and beyond, to ensure the safety and well-being of our children," said Chantee' Parsons, another Child and Youth Program Assistant at Imboden SAC.

Lisa Owens, from the Imboden Child Development Center, found reaccreditation to be "encouraging" and a reaffirmation that her "hard work is worth it." It also showed her the important role in helping "children become productive individuals" was recognized by DOD.