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Child care at Vance transitions from contractor to government support services

CDC

Lt. Col. Jason Ware, 71st Force Support Squadron commander, in front of the Vance Air Force Base Child Development Center on the first day of its transition from contractor to government support services. (U.S. Air Force photo)

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- This is the first week of the Child & Youth Programs transition from contractors to government employees at Vance Air Force Base.

My name is Lupe Redus and I am the new Vance CYP flight chief. I am new to the area but not new to CYP. My number one priority is to ensure we offer quality, affordable, and available services.

Vance was the only contracted CYP in the Air Force. In June of this year, the Air Force began the conversion process by authorizing funded manpower positions. Several CYP professionals, who previously worked for the contractor, have accepted government positions and are part of the new CYP team.

In addition, 15 new CYP professionals have been hired and a number of them have previous experience working with military children/youth. The Child Development Center director position has been filled. The director will arrive in a few weeks.

The School Age Coordinator and the Training and Curriculum Specialist positions have not been filled as of yet, but a list of candidates should be available soon.

At each front desk, the supervisor on duty will be posted. Feel free to address any questions or concerns with the supervisor or contact me.

Last week, our annual unannounced inspection was conducted and the inspectors have stayed over to ensure a successful transition and assist us with complying with Air Force policies and procedures.

Based on the inspection, we will implement some changes immediately. The changes are:

CDC ratios -- We are returning to approved ratios based on a fully functioning smoke alarm system.

CDC room configuration -- Infants (6 weeks-11 months) will be combined in Room 4. The car seat storage rack has been moved to the wall right around the corner from Room 4’s door. Pretoddlers (12-23 months) will be combined in Room 6. Toddlers (24-35 months) will remain in Room 1. Preschoolers (3-5 years) will remain in Room 8. After reviewing the enrollment rosters, we have a number of children who are not in the correct age group and we will begin transitioning them this week. Parents of those children will be notified.

Continuity of care -- It is our goal to assign the same direct-care staff to each activity room so parents know who is working with their children each day. Additionally, parents can drop off and pick up children in the room they are assigned to.

SAC before school program -- The SAC before school program will be conducted at the CDC in Room 7 for the next few weeks until enough trained staff are onboard.

Parent Advisory Board – The PAB is being revitalized. The PAB provides opportunities for parents to have a voice in program activities and increased involvement.

Early Learning Matters curriculum -- In partnership with Purdue University, Air Force will be implementing a new curriculum over the next year. This research-based program supports development of the whole child with planned learning experiences focusing on specific skills that promote school readiness and life success. The roll-out mid-October will begin with preschool and move into the younger ages in 2019.

Standardized menus – Air Force CYP standardized menus are in both CDC and SAC as of Oct. 1. The new menus developed by Kansas State incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables, a variety of recipes to create cook-from-scratch meals and correct portion sizes for the development of healthy lifestyles.

Continuity of service and a smooth transition are my top priorities. My team and I have an open-door policy and welcome your feedback and suggestions as we work through this transition.

If you have questions, stop by the CDC or email me at Guadalupe.redus@us.af.mil.