Over the next two months, Fort Drum Child, Youth and School Services programs will begin consolidating some of its programs, according to post officials.
By mid-January, Soldiers and Family Members who use hourly care, part-day care and the kindergarten programs will begin reporting to different CYSS facilities.
“By consolidating, it’s allowing us to provide more child care spaces in hourly care and reduce the wait list for full-day care by 40 percent,” said Karin Sikirica, CYSS coordinator. “We’re also able to place our staff more effectively and efficiently and bring more children into the rooms. So, it’s helping the customers too.”
Of the five child development centers located on post, Chapel Drive Annex Child Development Center is the only modular, or temporary, facility. The building, which was constructed in 2007, was meant to be used for five to seven years until a permanent facility was built to replace it, Sikirica said.
Po Valley Child Development Center was built in 2010 to replace the Chapel Drive Annex CDC, but because CYSS programs were growing so quickly, the organization decided to continue using the modular building, Sikirica added.
Now that Chapel Drive Annex CDC is reaching the seven-year mark and the three-year total renovation project at the main Chapel Drive Child Development Center was completed in October, CYSS representatives saw a way to use the buildings more efficiently, Sikirica noted.
“Rooms were rearranged based on the new requirements for (child-to-provider) ratios,” Sikirica said, adding that the interior also was upgraded.
After the renovation, the facility now has five vacant classrooms, she added. The hourly care program that had been offered at Memorial Drive CDC will be offered at Chapel Drive CDC. The transition is expected to be complete by Dec. 23.
“We will have a full-day wing and hourly-care wing at Chapel Drive CDC,” Sikirica said.
The part-day Strong Beginnings and before- and after-school kindergarten program that have been held at Chapel Drive Annex CDC will move to Memorial Drive CDC. The part-day program will be relocated by Jan. 6 and the kindergarten program will be moved by Jan. 13, Sikirica explained.
Sikirica said she and CYSS staff understand that moving to a new facility could pose a challenge with young children.
To ease the transition, students and caregivers will move to the new buildings and classrooms together.
“The whole class will be moving together,” Sikirica said. “That can be really stressful for children when we change their environment. We want to keep a consistency as best as possible.”
While parents who use the programs have been notified, questions can be directed at child care facilities or patrons can call CYSS Parent Central Services at 772-8675.