Teddy’s Child Watch to extend hours Jan. 9

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman
  • 60th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Teddy’s Child Watch inside David Grant USAF Medical Center at Travis Air Force Base, California will offer extended hours to military families in 2017.

The facility, which offers free childcare for children between six months and 12-years-old to military parents and guardians attending medical appointments at DGMC, will expand its hours to 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday effective Jan. 9.

Currently, the facility is open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday – Friday.

Retired Tech. Sgt. Roberta Textor, Teddy’s Child Watch Program director, said the extended hours will offer the Travis community more options when seeking childcare.

Many people have said they can’t get a morning appointment, which means they can’t use the Teddy’s Watch service right now as the facility is only open until 1 p.m., said Textor.

“By extending the hours of Teddy’s Watch we give families more options to have their children supervised and ease the stress they may be dealing with,” she said. “We are here to ease the burden on the family, especially if the sponsor is deployed or works odd hours. Expanding hours offers us more flexibility so parents have a wider range of hours to pick from when seeking care.”

Easing the burden on military families means a lot to Textor.

“It’s thrilling to see the impact this service has on families,” she said. “You see the look on the face of a mother whose husband is deployed and she has to take one of her children to the emergency room.”

If the mother has other children, she may have no other place to take them, Textor said.

“With our service, she knows her child is taken care of and she doesn’t have to worry about it,” said Textor. “It’s nice to be a part of that.”

Meredith Reed, an Air Force spouse, said she uses the Teddy’s Child Watch Program often and is thankful for the service.

“We use Teddy’s Child Watch whenever I have an appointment on base, maybe eight to 10 times a month,” she said. “Nothing like this was ever an option at our other bases. When we found out about Teddy’s we were so grateful.”

The Teddy’s Child Watch facility offers children a wide range of activities including themed play areas, movies, learning activities, board games and much more. Since 2014, the program has cared for more than 5,000 children. The service is provided by a combination of paid employees and volunteers.

Volunteers are also badly needed to keep the program running, said Textor.

“We have no volunteers right now and we need them especially when we go to extended hours,” she said. “Volunteers can come from any walk of life and can be anyone over the age of 18 with base access. They can be parents, grandparents, retirees, Airmen who are looking for volunteer opportunities or people who just enjoy working with children.”

All volunteers must be fingerprinted and pass an extensive background check prior to working in the Teddy’s Child Watch facility.

Parents and guardians interested in taking advantage of the program, must provide current and up-to-date shot records for their children and completed registration forms with two emergency contacts to Teddy’s Child Watch staff. Additionally, parents and guardians must not leave DGMC while their children are in the facility.

The program is closed on all federal holidays and base down days.

For more information about the Teddy’s Child Watch Program, call 707-423-3376 or 707-423-3378.