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Wendy Buchan, a child care provider in the Vogelweh housing area, colors with her daughter, Mercedes, 16 months, while the five other children Buchan cares for work on a project in the background. Buchan is contracted by the Air Force to provide child care as a part of a return-deployment program.

Wendy Buchan, a child care provider in the Vogelweh housing area, colors with her daughter, Mercedes, 16 months, while the five other children Buchan cares for work on a project in the background. Buchan is contracted by the Air Force to provide child care as a part of a return-deployment program. (Lisa Horn / S&S)

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Airmen from the Kaiserslautern area who are returning from deployments can now spend some time with their spouses without having to worry about their children.

Under the deployment child-care program being offered by the 86th Services Squadron, airmen, Air National Guard members and Air Force reservists are eligible for up to 16 hours of free child care.

The program is available for servicemembers who have recently returned from deployments of 30 days or longer in support of operations such as Iraqi Freedom or Enduring Freedom.

The child care is offered by in-home, child-care providers contracted by the Air Force and is available after 6 p.m., when traditional child-care centers are closed.

“It’s a really good deal, and it’s meant for after normal child-care hours,” Hudson said. “So when they get home [from deployment], they can spend some quality time with their spouses. It can even be overnight.”

Wendy Buchan is the Vogelweh return deployment provider. As an Air Force spouse, she understands the value of the program.

“I think that it’s great. My husband’s been gone [before],” Buchan said. “We’ve been separated twice for six months … . To get that time back, that’s very important.”

Air Force personnel interested in the return deployment child-care program can get more information and find out if they are eligible through their squadron’s first sergeant or unit deployment manager.

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