Parent Advisory Board: gateway to better CDC environment

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Holly Mansfield
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Imagine dropping a child off at a Child Development Center for the first time and being confused on a policy. You aren't sure who to ask at the CDC and don't even know where to begin.

This is where the Parent Advisory Board steps in.

"Our mission is to be the liaison between parents and the CDC directors and FCC providers so we can bridge the gap between the two groups," said Tech. Sgt. Sandi Wellman, Kisling Non-Commissioned Officer Academy instructor and PAB vice-president.

This link between the CDC staff and the parents can give both sides a better understanding of situations by bringing them together in an open setting.

"We give the opportunity for the directors to be there so the parents can ask any questions about things they aren't sure about in a forum that is open and accessible to the public," Wellman said. "We provide the avenue for parents to have face time with the directors."

If parents have issues, the PAB encourages them to use the appropriate chain of command within the CDC.

"We encourage the parents to talk to the CDC providers and if they aren't getting the answers they need there then go to the directors," said Wellman. "They are in charge of anything."

The PAB doesn't only create a bond between the parents and CDC staff. The board also holds events to build morale within the CDCs.

"We do different events like provider appreciation week and the art auction to help build morale for not only the children but also the providers and parents," Wellman explained. "The art auction is one of our biggest events that we hold every year. All of our money from the art auction goes to different things like the summer picnic and teacher appreciation week."

The PAB's goal isn't just to make money. Any money that is raised is given back to the CDCs in the form of morale events.

"Our focus isn't to make money. Our focus is the families and the providers," said Wellman. "We do make a lot of money on the art auction. It is always a big success because who wouldn't want some pictures or art work from their children? All of our money goes to different things like the summer picnic and teacher appreciation week."

Seeing their child's artwork displayed and up for bid during the auction is exciting for some parents.

"We know it is going to a good cause which makes it a fun way to raise money," said Staff Sgt. Tracy McClure, 603rd Air and Space Operations Center 1C671 space duty technician. "It's fun to see all the different paintings."

According to Wellman, the PAB meets on the last Thursday at noon at the Ramstein CDC. They skip June, July and December so they don't detract from family time during the summer and the holiday season.

If you have a child at any of the KMC CDCs and are interested in joining the PAB, you can attend the next meeting on May 29.