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CDC: Caring for what matters most

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Anthony Jennings
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
America's defenders safeguard this great nation for many reasons, one being to ensure their children have a bright future in a free and prosperous country.

The Andersen Child Development Center aims to ensure servicemembers are able to focus on the mission without worrying whether or not their children are in good hands. The CDC provides a safe, nurturing environment that supports a child's development while responding to the needs of the family.

"I would absolutely say the level of care at the Andersen CDC is surely one of the best here on the island and no doubt competitive throughout the country because the rules and regulations we have as an Air Force installation ensure not just a basic level of health and safety, but a very high standard of care," said Carmalita Ogo, CDC training and curriculum specialist.

"We have a significant number of seasoned staff who have worked a long time with children and are some of the best I've seen in the childcare field," she added.

The CDC has more than 50 staff members servicing nearly 200 children. The CDC requires two staff members in each of the 15 rooms. The staff to children ratio differs in each room, depending on the age group, and is based on the national accreditation criteria by the National Association of Education for Young Children which accredits childcare programs across the country. Those ratios are considered the best practices to ensure the level of care is of high quality.

Moana Omasong, CDC acting assistant director and supervisory education training technician, says much of the curriculum is tailored to the needs of each individual child.

"We do an initial observation to determine what the child's interests are," said Omasong. "We make sure we have enough books and a variety of activities to keep the children engaged with a desire to learn about the environment and stimulate their curiosity to learn about the world."

Omasong, who is responsible for interviewing and selecting new staff members, says though prior experience is important to being a good childcare provider, there are certain characteristics one must have in order to find fulfillment in the job.

"They really have to have a passion for working with children," Omasong said. "They must have a desire to see the children progress and learn new things. They have to be caring, understanding, patient and a good listener."

It is vital servicemembers are able to focus on the mission without the distractions of family matters. They can rest assured that while they're out securing America's interests, their children are in the hands of dedicated and passionate caretakers.

"That's what keeps us going," said Omasong. "Knowing that at the end of the day the parents were satisfied because they knew their children were safe, well taken care of and fed. That way they can focus on their mission then come back to what they're fighting for: the children."

The Andersen CDC offers full-day, part-day and hourly care for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years, Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information call 362-1040 extension 41.