Hourly care offers parents support they need

By Angie ThorneJanuary 31, 2023

Hourly care offers parents support they need
Hope Dixon, Child and Youth Services child youth program associate at Child Development Center 701 (left), and Emily Moore, CYS facility director for CDC 701, work on filling a book shelf in what is to be the room designated for hourly care. (Photo Credit: Angie Thorne) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT POLK, La. — Time is worth its weight in gold, especially for busy military Families. Caring for their kids needs and safety is the No. 1 priority, but can be difficult with their support system far away. That’s why Fort Polk’s Child and Youth Services wants to lend a helping hand by offering hourly care at Child Development Center #701.

Hourly care is currently available Monday-Friday when school is in session.

Emily Moore, CYS facility director for CDC #701, said, hourly care is an enrichment program designed to give parents a safe place for their child to be as they attend appointments, go to the gym, or go grocery shopping while their children take part in engaging and age appropriate activities.

As a military spouse, Moore said she wanted to use hourly care because it afforded her a safe place to drop off her child that incorporated her easily into its ongoing learning programs.

“It’s important for parents to know this program is here. Being part of the military community, you’re not always around Family,” Moore said. “Sometimes you just need that extra support to breathe and be able to do what you need to do for you.”

In the long run that makes everyone healthier and happier.

“You can’t pour from an empty cup,” Moore said. “This program is good for the whole Family. Parents get to recharge and kids get to have fun with other children and learn new things.”

At the moment, children signed up for hourly care are incorporated into already existing classrooms, but the center is working to open a classroom that will be solely used for hourly care. The tentative goal is to have it ready to go in late February.

However, there must be a demand in order for this to happen.

“Parents are using the program, but we would like to see some growth in our numbers,” Moore said. “Many times the program is under utilized because parents don’t know we are here and can offer them a safe haven their child when they need one. Hourly care allows them the time to step away and care for themselves so they can more effectively care for their children.”

Hourly care is available from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. as space allows.

Hourly care slots are open two weeks in advance. Per the updated fee policy, there is a limit of 14 hours per week, per child.

The fee for hourly care is $8 an hour. You can book hourly care in 30-minute increments.

For more information about hourly care call (337) 531-7041.