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Moody CDC recognized as best in ACC

The Moody Child Development Center was recently recognized as the top child care center in Air Combat Command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Parker Gyokeres)

The Moody Child Development Center was recently recognized as the top child care center in Air Combat Command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Parker Gyokeres)

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Proving again they're the 'best of the best,' the Moody Air Force Base Child Development Center recently received top honors in Air Combat Command.

This is the second year the CDC has been recognized as being the best in its command. Last year the center received top honors in Air Force Special Operations Command.

The success can be attributed to one factor - the people, said Karen White, CDC director.

"The people involved with this program have the feeling we are a team, we are a family," said Mrs. White. "When we take care of the children, the parents can concentrate on the mission and be comfortable their kids are in quality care."

Moody's Child Development Center has also been a leader in providing new programs for children not found at any other CDC, said Mrs. White.

The center has a partnership with the Valdosta State University School of Speech and Language Pathology that provides free on-site speech therapy to 50 children. This program has saved parents almost $125,000.

This is also the only CDC in the Air Force where you will find seven "foster grandmothers," said Mrs. White.

Over the past year, these seven volunteers spent a combined total of more than 5,000 hours helping caregivers and providing love and affection to the youngest children in the CDC, she said.

Another key to the CDC's success is the employees unusual devotion to the center and the needs of the children and parents, said Mrs. White.

"We have a very low staff turnover," she said. "That makes for a phenomenal program."

But, the staff is just one reason the CDC has been recognized for excellence. Moody's parents also take an active role in the success of the center, Mrs. White said.

Last year, 250 parents participated in a take-home reading project.

Overall, 95 percent of the parents participated in seven of the 12 activities sponsored by the CDC in 2006. And, for those parents that can't participate because of mission deployments, the CDC sends out weekly photos and artwork made by their child.

It's this type of overall teamwork and focus on Moody's children that allows the CDC to be the benchmark for others to follow, said Dawn Coleman, Family Member Programs flight chief.

"Receiving the ACC award was definitely a team effort," said Mrs. Coleman. "From the caregivers, the entire CDC staff, the foster parents and all the way up to the director...the CDC staff is the epitome of teamwork. Their focus is always on what is best for the child."