News | Sept. 3, 2014

Parents network to share child care

By Staff Sgt. Brenda Davis 940th Wing Public Affairs

Local parents of young children now have a resource to find or share temporary child care openings at the Child Development Center on Beale Air Force Base.

The Beale Parent's Network for Child Care Leasing helps connect parents of full-time enrolled children and those seeking short-term daycare.

"We don't offer vacation days. So when a child is not here, parents still have to pay for their slot," said Donna Greist, Beale Child Development Center Director. "But, if they are gone more than a week, they have the option of leasing it out to another family."

Leasing a daycare slot at the CDC can provide financial reimbursement for one family while allowing another parent to secure childcare for a set period of time. Otherwise, those parents not enrolled full-time must search for openings day-to-day on a space available basis.

"I don't think a lot of parents know about this possibility," said Senior Airman Lydia Ruiz, 13th Reconnaissance Squadron commander support staff. Ruiz started the network to educate and connect Beale parents needing childcare.

So far, the center has been willing to help connect parents through word of mouth, according to Greist who has worked in the child and youth programs for 11 years.

"Although leasing is permitted," she said, "the center cannot be involved in negotiating any agreement between parents."

Until now, the challenge has been connecting families, agreed both Greist and Ruiz.

Since the networking group began in early 2014 it has grown to more than 100 members.

"It was convenient and worked perfectly," said Nicole Barragan, a former Air Force Linguist, now mother of two. "I found a spot for my daughter so I could run errands."

As the group becomes more successful, Ruiz hopes that the idea will spread to other bases with child care centers.

The first step for parents wishing to utilize temporary openings is to visit the CDC with a current immunization record and fill out the registration form. Then, they can join the group on Facebook to find available daycare from other parents.

For more information see the Beale CDC web page or call 530-630-4717.