Peterson Main CDC Program Reduces Off-Base Child Care Costs

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Justin Todd
  • Space Base Delta 1

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Peterson SFB Main Child Development center had a waitlist of over 400 children. 

“Our mission on Peterson has grown significantly since the Space Force stood up,” said Jacenta Maynor, Peterson Main CDC child and youth coordinator. “This increases the amount of care needed for families.” 

Leaders from Peterson Child and Youth Services came together to come up with a way reduce this significantly large waitlist number. 

After considering many possibilities, as well as feedback from parents, leadership and the community, an idea was formed: Community contracted childcare. 

The basic idea was that military families selected from the waiting list have the opportunity for another option of care through off-base child care, while simplifying the application process and matching on-base prices immediately.  

This program is not limited to one military base – Anyone eligible for DoD child care from any of the installations in the Colorado Springs area can also apply. A priority level based on the family dynamic and mission-critical status is used when placing children into care. Interested families can sign up by creating an account through  

In early 2023, the program received innovation funding from the Office of the Secretary of Defense for the purpose of growing and offsetting child care costs for families. 

Once families register for the program, the Peterson Main CDC calculates a fee for the family based on total family income, and the family pays the Peterson Main CDC, not the off-base child care provider. In turn, the off-base child care center submits an invoice to the Peterson Main CDC, who uses the funding from the OSD to offset the difference between the on-base and off-base price. 

“The goal is to offer parents more options and try to simplify it as much as possible,” said Lisa Jerome, Peterson SFB Main CDC child and youth service flight chief. 

Every child care provider who participates in the program is vetted with factors such as: licensing, staff training, accreditation, rating on Colorado Shines, and hours of operation. 

At the moment, Carlton Academy is the only off-base child care program in Colorado Springs taking part in the program. The veteran-owned business has allocated spots for eligible families, and members can check their status locally through the Peterson CDC. 

 The program launched last week, with the first four families enrolling their children in Carlton Academy on Nov. 20, 2023. 

For more information, please contact the Peterson Main CDC at (719) 554-9573. 

Sherry Jones, Peterson SFB Main Child Development Center lead education technician, reads a story to a group of children on Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado, Nov. 9, 2023. The Peterson Main CDC offers childcare services to children six weeks old until they are eligible for kindergarten. (U.S. Space Force photo by Airman 1st Class Justin Todd)