I-TEAM: $20M secured for Fort Gordon child development center

Published: May. 17, 2023 at 4:50 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - We have an exclusive update from our I-TEAM about a new child development center planned for Fort Gordon.

We first told you about it back in January when Senator Jon Ossoff secured more than $20 million to fund it.

But he tells us that the project could be in jeopardy thanks to government red tape.

Senator Ossoff tells us he has a plan to cut through that red tape.

He says it’s a priority.

That’s because childcare for our local military families isn’t just important to moms and dads at Fort Gordon. It’s actually important to all of us.

As if this job isn’t stressful enough, military families who move often and work unusual hours have to find childcare.

Since 1985, the number of active-duty, single parents has jumped 67%.

Households, where both parents are active-duty military, have also more than doubled.

Childcare isn’t a luxury. It’s a basic need.

“It’s the right thing, period. It’s an important period. And also, it is vital to our national security, because it gets at our ability to recruit and retain talented people to serve in the armed forces,” said Senator Ossoff.

This is why Senator Ossoff says Fort Gordon needs a new child development center.

Earlier this year, the I-TEAM broke the news he’d secured millions for a building to serve 126 children between the ages of six weeks and five years.

But it will now take another act of Congress to put those plans in motion.

“You have to have 2 things in place. You have to secure the funding. And you have to ensure that the Army has the proper authority to build it,” said Senator Ossoff.

This week, he and Senator Raphael Warnock are introducing a bill to give the army that authority.

They want to include it in the national defense authorization act.

Congress passes it each year to give the green light to pretty much everything the department of defense does.

“I think we got a good shot at success again to bring Republicans and Democrats together to make sure the Army has the necessary authority and time to get this done,” said Senator Ossoff.

Senator Ossoff says if this goes through, he hopes the new center could be up and running by 2026.