Options for child care in U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart have expanded, thanks to the new Kelley Child Development Center on Kelley Barracks.
The $5 million facility is the first of four specially funded child care centers to be completed in Europe. Similar projects at the Landstuhl, Wiesbaden and Ansbach military communities are expected to be completed in the next several months.
The emphasis on proper child care facilities is part of the Army Family Covenant, a promise to Soldiers and families to ensure excellence in child, youth and school services.
“This facility represents the Army Family Covenant’s commitment to standardizing funding and increasing the availability, quality and affordability of child care,” said Col. Carl D. Bird, USAG Stuttgart commander, at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the center Aug. 23.
U.S. Africa Command Commander Gen. William E. “Kip” Ward joined Bird in opening the center.
Ward said that while the need for a child development center was driven by the influx of AFRICOM personnel, “the entire Stuttgart military community benefits from this facility.”
The new Kelley CDC provides full-day care for children 6 weeks to 5 years of age.
It “allows us to offer approximately 25 more full-day slots than the old facility,” said Suzanne King, the acting director of USAG Stuttgart Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation.
It also allows Child, Youth and School Services to expand its hourly care and part-day preschool program at the old CDC, now dubbed the “Kelley CDC Annex.”
“This is the first time we’ve offered a five-day, part-day program,” said Hyacinth Smith, director of the Kelley CDC and its annex. “In the past, we only had a part-day program for preschool and pre-K, for three hours a day. Now it’s daily for all age groups.”
Hourly care in the annex is available from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday. Kinder Time, for children ages 6 weeks through pre-kindergarten, runs from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Strong Beginnings, the CYS Services kindergarten readiness program, is offered from 8 a.m. to noon and follows the local school schedule.
Children at the old Kelley CDC began the transition to the new center on Aug. 16.
“The children were so excited by the toys, the new environments and the playground,” said Robin Reed, a training and curriculum specialist with CYS Services.
“It’s a beautiful facility,” she said. “Things are well stocked and attractively displayed. It’s a very inviting environment for children and adults.”
While children and adults are happy with the new CDC, so is the garrison’s energy manager.
“We are required to reduce our energy use by 3 percent every year … and are continuously looking at ways to save energy and operate more efficiently,” said USAG Stuttgart Directorate of Public Works’ Werner Kienzle.
With solar panels on the roof, double-paned windows, well-insulated exterior walls and energy-saving light bulbs throughout, Kienzle said the building will go a long way in helping the garrison meet its energy goals.
To make an hourly care reservation, call 421-2541/civ. 0711-729-2541, or make a reservation online at www.stuttgartmwr.com. For more information, call Parent Central Services at 430-7480/civ. 0711-680-7480 or e-mail StuttgartCYS@googlemail.com.
Editor’s Note: Justin Ward, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Europe District Public Affairs Office, contributed to this story.