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Base CDC offers parents shared rates

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- Ellsworth’s child development center has implemented a new program that allows parents to share one spot and one fee.

This new program expands the opportunities available at the CDC.

When parents enroll their child at the CDC, they’re reserving one spot in their child’s age-group class. Each teacher is restricted to a number of children they can have in their class. Once all the spots are reserved, no more children of that age can be enrolled. So if a parent goes on leave, they have to either continue paying for their child’s spot or take their child out and risk not being able to re-enroll them once they return.

Ms. Carrie Williams, 28th Services Squadron CDC director, explained how the new program works.

“One parent will be the owner of the spot,” she said. “That parent can solicit another parent of a child the same age as (his) to use the spot while (his) child is not there.”

The two children can never overlap in their time at the CDC; they must be the same age and the sharing parent must have access to the base.

Payment is based on the owner of the spot’s income, and they’re responsible for paying the CDC. A contract will be made between the two parents stating how much the sharing parent will pay the owner and when. The CDC will not seek payment from the sharing parent or moderate financial disputes, Ms. Williams said.

“This is great for parents who only need part-time care,” Ms. Williams said.

“Sharing spaces not only makes sense financially for those parents who don’t want to put their children in care for 50 hours a week, but (it also allows them) to expose their children to the learning and growing that goes on every day at the CDC,” said Maj. Eliza Knutson, 28th SVS commander.

“We’re really excited about this initiative because now we can offer parents more flexibility with their schedule and bring more kids into our outstanding program.”