MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
On the 29th day of January, a groundbreaking ceremony was held aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune for the construction of two new child development centers on Brewster Boulevard.
Ten months later, the construction contract for a fifth and final CDC was awarded to a civilian construction company, totaling five new CDCs to be built alongside the five pre-existing centers aboard the base.
“Two are being built on Brewster, one in Tarawa Terrace, one by the Midway Park chapel and one in Courthouse Bay,” said Marla Talley, director of Children, Youth and Teens Program, Marine Corps Community Services. “They should be completed early next summer and will be occupied by that fall.”
Of the existing CDCs, approximately 1,000 spaces for military children are occupied with a waiting list of a couple thousand more. A recent effort to double the base’s childcare capacity was made, resulting in the various construction sites across Camp Lejeune.
“(Camp Lejeune) is an installation with a large population of young service members, hence a lot of young children in need of care,” said Talley. “The Marine Corps recognized this area as a hotspot for childcare, which allowed us to move forward with these new CDCs.”
Talley said the benefit of having a child in one of the base’s CDCs is that bi-weekly fees are based on total family income; monthly rates ranging from the low $200s up to $600. This is what military families pay as opposed to a weekly fee out in town that some families cannot afford.
“Parents are able to drop off their children and go to work knowing they will be properly cared for,” said Talley. “Military childcare is rated the highest quality in the nation and our CDCs are nationally accredited.”
The current five and upcoming five CDCs are a big leap forward for military childcare from what it was in 1989 when Talley took over as director. There were only two CDCs, under-furnished with windowless rooms.
“It is amazing to see us get to where we are now from 20 years ago,” said Talley. “And from this, I want us to be able to offer services to all military families and let them all know they can get affordable and high quality childcare right here on base.”
For more information on the upcoming CDCs or how to register a child inwith a CDC, call 449-9563 or 449-9552.