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Dyess Child Development Center increases capacity, builds partnerships with local colleges

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Holly Cook
  • 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

The 7th Force Support Squadron and Dyess Child Development Center have started plans to renovate classrooms to increase capacity to serve Dyess families. In addition to expanding capacity, the 7th FSS will also start a partnership with Cisco College and McMurry University to offer Child and Youth Program employees the opportunity to earn an Associates of Applied Science degree in the Child Development Program mid-November 2022.

Both initiatives will improve quality of life for families at Dyess while strengthening partnerships with the local Abilene community.

“The Dyess CDC is undergoing renovation of its classroom space to bring our rooms up to industry-leading standard,” said Ferdinand Patao, 7th FSS Force Development Flight chief. “Additionally, the 7th FSS is working to form educational partnerships with Cisco College and McMurry University. This partnership with Cisco College and McMurry University establishes a foundation for Child and Youth Program employees to increase job skills and add to the development of specialized vocational skills.”

The Child Development Center expansion will increase the capacity from 218 to 230. The increase in student slots will shorten the wait time for families looking for on-base childcare.

“Childcare is limited in the local area, and often leaves parents waiting with a lengthy wait list, especially for infants,” said Patao. “This expansion will help reduce our current wait list allowing for more families to be accommodated while receiving high quality care from the Dyess Child Development Center immediately”

The 7th FSS is also furthering the education of Dyess Child and Youth Program employees. The partnership with Cisco College and McMurry University will allow employees to get a college degree in early childhood education while allowing Dyess families to reap the benefits of more well-rounded employees.

“Having these partnerships with both Cisco College and McMurry University offers Team Dyess Child and Youth Program employees the opportunity to complete an Associates of Applied Science degree in the Child Development Program,” said Patao. “Additionally, employees simultaneously earn freshman and sophomore credit hours to continue with McMurry University and earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education. Employees who enter this program will have financial support and funding from the Air Force with minimal cost to the employee.”

These 7th FSS initiatives are a part of several advanced ideas to improve processes and programs at Dyess while carrying out the 7th Bomb Wing’s priority of innovation and the Chief of Staff of the Air Force Spouse’s Five and Thrive initiative.

“I’m proud of the work the 7th FSS has done to increase the child capacity at the CDC and further the education of our on-base childcare workers,” said Col. Joseph Kramer, 7th BW commander. “The force support team has brought focus into the readiness and needs of our military families. Their innovative program change will not only alleviate some stress of finding childcare for our Dyess families but will also build a lasting partnership with our Abilene community that will continue to grow for years to come.”