ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - Construction of the new Child Development Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground North is underway and expected to be completed in December.

The new facility, which is scheduled to open in early 2012, will provide an additional 130 child care spaces and about 35 new jobs.

The approximately 13,000 square foot building will come fully equipped, and will be very similar in design to the existing CDCs at APG North and APG South (Edgewood). It will also come with 20,000 square feet of playground.
"The centers are built to U.S. Army Center of Standardization guidelines, so that when a child moves and goes to a new CDC they will experience a sense of familiarity," explained Ruth Strauss, Child, Youth and School Services coordinator.

Jeff Thomas, the site project manager from Atlantic Marine Construction, said the centers are standardized using modular construction. This means that the building itself was made in an environment-controlled factory and then delivered to APG. Thomas' team began on-site construction in March.

"A big advantage to using modular construction is the speed in which the facility can be built," he said. "Even though recently the project was delayed a bit due to flooding in the area, the team is making genuine progress and we are getting back on schedule."

The construction of a new CDC, which cost $4.9 M to build, was justified by APG's booming population due to the Base Realignment and Closure Act. As a result of BRAC, more than 4,500 jobs have transferred to APG.

With the increased population came a sudden increase in the need for on-post child care. Close to 300 children are on a waiting list to be placed in one of the APG CDC facilities.

Strauss recommends that parents seeking child care use the installation's Parent Central Office, on the second floor of Bldg. 2503, as a resource and referral office for local care. Information on how Military and Civilian Families can qualify for subsidized child care is also available.

Parents may also use Family Child Care. FCC provides small group care in certified homes on installation housing areas and throughout Harford and Cecil counties.

To enroll in an FCC home, call 410-278-7477/7140. For information on CYSS programs, call 410-278-7571/7479.

Although some jobs have already been filled, CYSS still needs to fill 16 child and youth program assistant positions before the center opens. The jobs, which are advertised on www.usajobs.com, range from flexible to fulltime employment. Part-time and fulltime employees are eligible to receive benefits.

Strauss said previous child care experience is not a requirement because new hires must undergo an extensive training program before working with children. Once they receive training, they will shadow and be mentored by experienced staff members.

Employees who complete the training program will qualify to receive 21 college credits toward an associates degree in Early Childhood Education from Harford Community College.

"This is a great opportunity for someone who wants to go into child care," she said.

Strauss also added that the new hires will be working with more experienced staff members.

"Not everyone at the center will be a new employee," Strauss said. "Some staff members at the current facility will move to the new facility. This will provide the program with continuity."

For more information about applying, call the APG Nonappropriated Fund Human Resources Office at 410-278-5126 or e-mail naf@conus.army.mil.