By Army Sgt. 1st Class Jon Soucy
National Guard Bureau
ARLINGTON, Va. (9/14/09) â€“ Two child care centers will be built on National Guard installations in West Virginia and Indiana in fiscal year 2010, Guard officials confirmed today.
The West Virginia Army National Guard was recently awarded $4 million by the Department of the Army for the construction of a child care center at its headquarters in Charleston, W.Va.
The new center, which is scheduled to open late next year, will be able to accommodate up to 100 children and will include activity rooms, a reception area, outdoor play yard and a separate area for sick children.
"On-site day care is one of the most important benefits we can provide for our military families," said Army Maj. Gen. Allen Tackett, adjutant general of the West Virginia National Guard.
"Having this center in Charleston will really help our National Guard members meet the rigorous demands of military service while providing a safe environment for their children.â€
A second center is planned for Camp Atterbury, Ind., which is a main location for Guard troops training to go overseas.
â€œWe are one of the larger mobilization posts with 2,300 full-timers on post right now in support of the mobilization and training operations center,â€ said Sgt. Maj. Jodie Newby of the Camp Atterbury public affairs office. â€œHere, youâ€™re looking at a group of Citizen-Soldiers who not only have the full-time mobilization mission, but they also have their traditional duties and training requirements they have to keep up with as well.â€
The contract for construction of the new center at Camp Atterbury has yet to be awarded, said Newby, but officials there hope to break ground by the end of this calendar year.
The 2006 Defense Authorization Act requires the Department of the Army to construct additional child development centers at Army installations across the country.
These two sites were chosen after a study conducted by the National Guard Bureau Family Programs office highlighted a need for child care centers in those areas, said Nadine Moore, a child needs program manager for the Army National Guard.
â€œIndiana and West Virginia were among the top of having a need (for child care) and the population (of servicemembers) that would justify having an actual location,â€ she said.
Priority will be given to active duty military personnel, including those on Title 10 and Title 32 orders, followed by Department of Defense civilians and contractors.
Additional centers may be built at other Guard locations should a need be identified, said Moore.
â€œThe Army has said weâ€™re happy to put these out there if they are going to be used,â€ she said. â€œThis is really the first time itâ€™s been done (at Guard locations), so they want to see how these go.â€