Lawmakers push to fund $24M childcare center at WPAFB

Miami Valley News

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio (WDTN) — As congress works to finalize details for military spending, lawmakers are planning to fund a $24 million childcare center at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. 

U.S. Rep. Mike Turner (OH-10) emphasized the need for a newer, more practical child care facility after visiting the base Tuesday. He said the change is much needed, with the current child care center operating off-base and at an insufficient capacity. 

“For the people who work here who are parents, and leave their children in the hands of the current Child Development Center for Wright Patterson Air Force Base,” Turner said. “… they have to have some concern as to the distance between them and their children, and the facility itself. And then there’s a number of parents who are not able to avail themselves of Wright-Patt’s facilities, because of the constraints of size.”

The proposed funding, which was included in the House Armed Services Committee that passed last week, will help alleviate those issues. 

Fellow congressman from Utah, Chris Stewart, joined Turner on the visit to the base. He said the completion of the project will also be a major contributor to national security. 

“What we have learned over the last 18 months is what a concern this is for parents, and many of them are put in this really nearly impossible situation of ‘how do I continue to work?’ Well if your work is as I’ve already indicated, is very important to national security, we need to find a way for those parents in order to come to work and feel very comfortable. And if their own child care center is closed down or if they’re just not able to find that … kind of help, that’s a real national security concern for us at that point,” Turner said.

With Wright-Patterson Air Force Base being one of the largest employers in the state, the new facility is expected to have a capacity for more than 300 children — an increase of about 200 from the current facility. 

The House is expected to vote on the final passage for national defense spending for fiscal year 2022 by the end of this calendar year. 

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