CDC Passes Surprise Inspection With Flying Colors
By P. A. Tezuka, SMC Public Affairs
/ Published April 15, 2008
Los Angeles Air Force Base --
Los Angeles AFB's Child Development Center was surprised by a visit from a Department of Defense inspection team from out of Randolph AFB, Texas, earlier this year. The five-day visit evaluated the CDC's standards in child care facilities. Family Child Care and Youth Programs were also inspected.
The CDC's staff was ready and passed with flying colors. Keeping the highest quality of life for the children is an imbedded goal for all the CDC staff.
"They [the inspection team] just walked into our building that day," said Barbara Parish, CDC director. "It's always a surprise inspection. We never know when they're going to come. But unannounced inspections are great. It's an opportunity to have another set of eyes come in and look at our program."
Ms. Parish and her team of 45 staff take their job seriously in caring for the 140 dependent children of our base community. The children's ages range form six weeks to five years. They spend an average of 10 hours each day at the CDC.
According to Ms. Parris, this year's inspection checklist is called the "17th-year checklist" and entails some 300 criteria to ensure the CDCs Air Force-wide are performing under the required compliance.
At Los Angeles AFB, CDC staff members are given copies of the checklist, which enables them to monitor their own programs. They are required to become familiar with the checklist and use it daily. The managers and the caregivers meet to ensure they are performing their duties to the highest standard possible in taking care of the children.
"That definitely paid off," said Ms. Parish. "We received such an excellent inspection report because we have implemented all the necessary elements to bring about the quality in care."
Ms. Parish modestly gives all of the credit to their success to the teamwork between her managers and caregivers.
"I don't look at myself as the one who attributed to such a wonderful rating," she said. "It was because of our caregivers. What's going on in the classroom and the involvement and interaction between the caregiver and the children are what made it happen. All the accolades go to them."
According to Ms. Parish, the CDC caregivers come from a diverse range of cultures and they bring their unique specialties to the classroom. They take pride in their differences and each classroom shows their uniqueness. And the children appreciate that too. When the inspectors walk into the room, they can immediately tell if there is a set routine or if the class setting was for the benefit of the inspectors by how the children react. They can sense the special bonding between the caregiver and the children just by watching them interact with each other.
Another criteria the inspectors look for is whether the caregivers are offering the required educational curriculum to each particular age group. Ms. Parish gives the credit for their success to Christine Kobayashi, their training and curriculum specialist, who also manages the programs at FCC, Youth Programs and the Family Childcare program, which provides in-home care.
"She does an excellent job," said Ms. Parish. "It's not an easy job. She makes sure the curriculum is appropriate for all the children under our care."