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NEWS | Aug. 21, 2013

Free: Teddy's Child Watch!

By Airman 1st Class Chacarra Neal Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

Teddy's Child Watch, a program designed to alleviate the stress of parents and guardians who need child care during medical appointments, is available at Joint Base Charleston - Air Base, S.C.

The current hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Teddy's Watch provides short-term staff supervision to well children ages 6 weeks through 11-years old. Parents must fill out a registration form and supply an updated immunization record.

Parents must also provide a beverage, diapers or a change of clothes if their child is potty training.

Teddy's staff is not licensed so children are not allowed to have food during their stay.

"Having a child's waiting room allows parents and guardians to accomplish medical services while being assured that their child's health, safety and well-being is protected," said Tina Fletcher, 628th Medical Group Teddy's Child Watch program manager.

Teddy's Watch is funded by the Armed Services Young Men's Christian Association, receiving a $25,000 grant annually that pays for salaries and supplies.

Teddy's Watch is one of four known programs established through the ASYMCA.

"Our program is somewhat unique in that the ASYMCA does not have a physical presence in South Carolina," said Fletcher. "So while the ASYMCA actually runs and manages the programs at other installations, here they provide the funding and leave direct oversight to the 628th MDG."

Teddy's Watch takes the relevant guidance available for running a child care center and adopts those elements that are applicable, such as the guidance for physical facility standards and background checks for staff and volunteers.

While the Airman and family branch which oversees the child development center is not responsible for the program they have been very helpful in offering consultation and advice when needed.

The program cares for 30 to 60 children per month, and has cared for more than 700 children since debuting in 2012.

Teddy's has two full time staff employees and only three volunteers.
"We are always looking for more volunteers," said Fletcher. "It takes about two months to get you approved."

The 628th Medical Group provided information for this article.