News: Youth program accredited for great on-base childcare
Story by Lance Cpl. Martin Egnash
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION NEW RIVER, N.C. - The Children, Youth and Teen Program aboard Marine Corps Air Station New River was the first youth and teen center in any Marine Corps installation to be accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
“Being accredited by NAEYC is an honor,” said Kim C. Cunningham, youth director for the air station’s youth program. “It means we are recognized for providing high-quality childcare by a highly respected organization.”
To be accredited by NAEYC, a child development center must meet the associations high standards and be inspected by an association representative.
Cunningham explained that when NAEYC inspected the facility, they found the center did not have any discrepancies.
“Most of the time, when they inspect a childcare provider, they find some kind of discrepancy that [the provider is] told to fix,” said Cunningham. “But with us, we started off doing exactly what we need to be doing. That means we’re doing a good job.”
Now that they are NAEYC accredited, they will be monitored and kept to the nationally accepted standard. In addition to that, both the child development and teen activities will be governed by one body.
“In the past, the child development activities and the teen activities were separate,” said Gina Mahal, assistant director of youth activities. “But now that they both answer to one authority, they can support each other.”
The air station’s Children, Youth and Teen Program will continue to provide programs for children and teens aboard the air station including childcare, classes and community events.
Cunningham said in terms of childcare, they currently provide a before-and-after-school childcare service and plan on offering a summer program starting June 18.
For the older kids and teens, Mahal said they will begin another babysitter’s training course with CPR and first aid, May 19. It will be open to children ages 11-18 and will continue with the Keystone Club, an organization focused on developing leadership skills to kids 14-18 year-olds.
Throughout April, the program participated in combat fitness test related activities including ammo can lifts, fireman’s carry and low crawling. In May, they are planning to continue fitness activities with their Get Fit, Triple Play and Healthy Habits programs.
To register for any events or programs, parents can click the Children, Youth and Teen Program link on the Marine Corps Community Service website, at http://www.mccsnr.com.