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Parents take a time out

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Once a month, active-duty Air Force parents have a chance to get away from it all, at least for a few hours. The Airman & Family Readiness Center and the child development centers team up with various Buckley organizations to provide free childcare one day a month to parents who just need a break.

Give Parents a Break is an Air Force Aid Society program created to assist Air Force families dealing with the stresses of parenthood. This program provides childcare so couples or single parents can gain some personal time, stated Patricia Pope, 460th Force Support Squadron A&FRC chief.

AFAS pays the cost of opening the CDC once a month for families referred to the program. To participate in the program, parents need to obtain a signed referral certificate from the A&FRC, CDCs or family advocacy.

Families using the center are not charged for the care. A&FRC staff process a reimbursement payment from the AFAS and issue the check to the CDC for their services, stated Pope.

According to Pope, Give Parents a Break is a valuable program because Air Force families are subject to unique stresses due to the nature of military life - deployments, remote tours of duty and extended work hours.

In addition to these stresses, military families are oftentimes separated from their extended families that might otherwise be able to offer them support, stated Pope.

Tech. Sgt. Matthew Sullivan, 460th Space Communications Squadron communications project manager, agreed the program is worthwhile for military families.

"It gave me and my wife an opportunity to have a date night again," said Sullivan. "Date nights are very important in healthy relationships, even if you've been married for nine years."

This month, Give Parents a Break is scheduled Oct. 13 at Crested Butte CDC. For more information or to get a referral, visit or contact family advocacy at 720-847-6453, A&FRC at 720-847-6681, or the CDCs at 720-847-7215 or 720-847-6174.

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