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New child care facility opens

Pine Bluff Arsenal (PBA) celebrated last week with the grand opening of the new $4.2 million Child Development Center Annex.

The facility, a part of the Child, Youth and School (CYS) Services program, is set to meet the needs of 60 additional children in the early childhood program.

“The completion of this project confirms what we already knew,” said Arsenal Commander Col. Franz J. Amann. “The [U.S.] Army has the best child care in the world.”

Melissa Brodnax, Director Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, said she is thrilled about the opening of the annex, because “we had families waiting over a year for care just to get into our current program. This new facility will help meet that demand for quality child care so that our workforce can continue its work in supporting the war-fighter.”

The new facility is a welcomed addition to a program that has seen two generations of children since its outset in 1987. PBA began its meager passage into the child care arena with only two in-home child-care givers and five children.

Debbie Johnson, Coordinator CYS Services, introduced several staff members and commented, “All of you are why CYS succeeds.” She then stressed the importance of those who assist in the program and the families involved.

“Yes, it takes a village to raise a child,” she said. “And we have our village here.”