“100 years from now it won’t matter what kind of car I drove, what kind of house I lived in, how much money I had in the bank or what kind of clothes I wore. But the world may be a little better because I was important in the life of a child.”
Ms. Jamila Aziz, director of the Child Development Center (CDC) Bethesda spoke these words of Forest Woodcraft at the ribbon cutting event of the new additions to the CDC June 2.
These words encompass the essence of what the CDC is about and as child care providers, “the CDC is a safe and quality program that is the model for child care of the nation,” said Aziz.
The CDC will welcome two new building additions including a 24/7 child care facility which is tentatively looking to open its doors during fall/winter of 2014. The CDC Bethesda will be the first within Naval Support Activity Bethesda (NSAB) and the Naval District Washington region to provide around-the-clock child care for its service members. To go along with the energy-efficient buildings, the capacities of the entire NSAB Child and Youth Program will more than double with the new additions.
Commandant of Naval District Washington Rear Adm. Markham K. Rich, Director of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Brig. Gen. Jeffrey B. Clark, Commanding Officer of Naval Facilities Command Washington Capt. Antonio Edmonds and Commanding Officer of NSAB Capt. David A. Bitonti were among distinguished guests to participate in the ribbon cutting.
“We are so pleased and excited to open the new CDC, the 24/7 home and complete the renovation in our original CDC,” said Bitonti. “As I regularly remind our staff, support is in our name and there is no better or more important example of that support than the services provided within our CDC system. While it’s nice to have these wonderful facilities to house the children during their care, it’s the staff of the CDC that provides the most important ingredients to the recipe for quality child care — that being love, a caring attitude and a genuine kindness to the children. They provide that and so much more. They care for your children as if they were their own.”
Highlighting the ceremony were several songs performed by the pre-school section of children enrolled in the CDC, remarks from distinguished guests and the ribbon cutting involving honored guests and children enrolled in the CDC.
The goals and priorities of the CDC are to support the mission and to create a comprehensive and safe environment for the children to come to every day, Aziz attests.
“Our goal in military childcare is to provide a safe and welcoming learning environment for our children,” said Aziz. “Parents can go to work each day focused on their job. Our mission is to support their mission. The parents are important; however, it is the children after all who are the focus of our efforts. They are our greatest joy and the future of this country. They are the senators, congressmen, doctors, educators and scientists. Our “tomorrows” are dependent on the work we do here today. We are proud and excited of what we do and we love what we do. Since the majority of our staff are mothers, we know what it takes for a child when it is not touched, loved or even communicated with to give them what they need to flourish.”