By Airman Alexis Frost
2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs
A parent drops their children off at the Child Development Center at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., April 15, 2016. The CDC holds the Give Parents a Break program once a month for parents who have an approved signed voucher from their First Sergeant, medical personnel or Airman and Family Readiness personnel. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Alexis C. Frost)
Donna Marshall, Child Development Center child care provider, helps children build furniture with Waffle Blocks at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., April 15, 2016. The CDCs and Youth Center will be holding the Give Parents a Break program on the second Friday of every month. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Alexis C. Frost)
Bessie Roberts, Child Care Development Center child care provider, plays with children at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., April 15, 2016. The CDC specializes in child care for children who are six weeks old to five years of age. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Alexis Frost)
The Barksdale Air Force Base Child Development Center and youth programs offer military parents the opportunity to have some time to themselves every month in honor of the Give Parents a Break program.
GPAB is a program where the Air Force Aid Society recognizes the stressors that military families go through such as deployments, extended tours of duty, having a child with special needs, an emergency situation such as illness of a family member, or unique circumstances or hardships.
“The purpose of this program is to offer eligible parents a few hours break from the stress of parenting,” said Stephanie Reyes, Airman and Family Services flight chief. “It is free of charge, but the Air Force Aid Society pays for it.”
The CDC and Youth center will be holding the Give Parents a Break program on the second Friday of every month from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Active duty Air Force families eligible for the program are those who are experiencing stress due to the ways of military life.
“Being a single parent in itself is not a reason for ‘Give Parents a Break,’” said Reyes. “They have to have unique circumstances or hardship just like everybody else.”
Families must have a written certificate from their squadron commander or First Sergeant, chaplain, medical personnel, family advocacy officer or Airman and Family Readiness Center personnel.
“Once one of these agencies issues them a certificate, they are required to take it to either the Child Development Center or Youth Center by the Friday before the Give Parents a Break date,” said Reyes.
Children do not have to attend the CDC regularly to utilize the program. Children are required to have all immunizations on file and must be registered at the CDC.
Parents are encouraged to provide necessary items for their children such as medications, diapers and wipes for infants, and anything that will help make their child feel comfortable.