NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — It’s been five years since little ones stepped foot in the Sewells Point Child Development Center. It was outdated and needed big upgrades like new floors and ceilings.
It took some time but now the classrooms are good as new and can serve children ages 6 weeks to 5 years old. It will serve children from U.S. Navy families.
“World-class child care for their children to allow them to focus on their job — that’s our goal,” said Commanding Officer for Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads Capt. Jonathan Kline.
In addition to a complete overhaul of all of the 27,230-square-foot inside, the renovation also included new monitoring systems, Wi-Fi, and children’s computers.
During the pandemic, the facility’s capacity is 46 children. Once restrictions are released, it can hold up to 276.
Kline says, for him, helping sailors and their families have peace of mind is what it’s all about.
“As a military member for almost 30 years and as a father, I know how important it was to me when I was deployed or at work traveling that my kids were taken care of. And to be able to provide that peace of mind, to provide that readiness to our sailors and our fleet, it’s the only reason I come to work every day,” said Kline.
At first, because of COVID-19, the center will be open primarily to children ages 3 years old and under, which is the greatest demand on the current waiting list.
Over time, the classrooms will evolve to serve an equal balance of all age groups up to 5 years old.
Lt. Cmdrs. Steve and Ann Bednash have 3 children enrolled. They say it’s more affordable than many public child care centers and has more extensive hours to match their duties.
“Dropping off especially a newborn is already so hard. As a new parent, you’re worried about putting them in someone else’s care, but having such a well-run facility that’s nurturing and enriching — knowing your children are taken care of by a wonderful staff — is invaluable,” said An Bednash.
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