Airman and Family Readiness Center
The 56th Force Support Squadron (56th FSS) and Airman and Family Readiness Center (A&FRC), in Building 1113 across from Fowler Park, offer programs and services for families and single Airmen, including the following.
Relocation Assistance is available for arriving and departing personnel at the A&FRC. Newcomers receive information on the local area including community maps, brochures, school data, crime rates, recreational activities and Heartlink, which is an interactive and fun spouse orientation. Departing members may access Military OneSource, which provides information about all major DOD installations and surrounding communities, as well as information on relocation.
The Transition Assistance Program (TAP) helps retiring or separating personnel develop a plan for civilian employment using links with community and national employment sources. A three-day TAP workshop is offered monthly for job-search preparation to increase marketability. Job-search strategies, the labor market, networking, resume preparation, interviewing skills, how to research companies, and Veterans Affairs benefits and entitlements are just a few of the subjects covered during the three-day workshop. The Discovery Center offers a variety of automated employment services, current job opportunities and on-site registration with state employment services.
Spouse Employment Services helps family members determine career goals, prepare for job searches, write resumes and identify employment leads.
The Volunteer Resource Program offers information on volunteer employment opportunities, training and skills development basewide, as well as an attractive incentive program for base volunteers.
Financial Assistance includes counselors who can assist in budget preparation, debt management and resolution of credit problems. The Air Force Aid Society provides direct financial assistance for emergencies and essential living expenses to eligible personnel and families. Referrals are available to local community sources that help supplement the food budgets for Airmen with children.
The Family Readiness Program focuses on offering support to the families of members on a remote tour, deployment or extended temporary duty. Monthly activities and many support programs ensure the military family is not forgotten when the service member gets called away for duty.
Family Life Education offers workshops and referrals for family communication, parenting and personal interest topics such as self-esteem and assertiveness.
A&FRC offers general information and referral for on- and off-base community services. All arrivals are encouraged to visit and find out about services available to help them make Luke their home. Come by and find out why “We’re never the wrong place to go.” For more information, call 623-856-6550.
Key Spouse Program
The Key Spouse Program is a formal unit program that offers informal peer-to-peer and Wingman family support. This exciting program helps spouses play a role in enhancing mission readiness by assisting family members during deployments and remote assignments. Key Spouses, appointed by commanders, volunteer to offer support and provide information to families during deployment and remote tours and welcome new members and families to the unit. Key Spouses also are an important link between families, the first sergeant and the commander. The A&FRC oversees the program and Key Spouse training. Spouses who want to volunteer to be a Key Spouse should contact their squadron’s first sergeant.
Bundles for Babies
If you are an active-duty member or the spouse of an active-duty member who is expecting a baby or a new mother assigned to Luke Air Force Base, contact the Airman and Family Readiness Center to sign up for a “Bundles for Babies” class. Upon completion of the class, receive a free “bundle” that the Air Force Aid Society has purchased from Gerber. The class includes financial training that emphasizes budgeting for your new baby from conception to college years, and identifies support programs that are available on base and in the community. Classes are open to all ranks and are not limited to a first pregnancy. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about parenting skills, meet other expectant parents and receive a great gift for your precious bundle. Contact the A&FRC for details.
Child Development Center
Serving children 6 weeks to 5 years old, the Child Development Center (CDC) provides a quality care program tailored to each child’s age group. Located in Building 1119 on 137th Avenue, the CDC accepts children with reservations and on a space-available drop-in basis. A child may stay for a few hours based on availability, or an entire day on a limited basis. The center also has an active sublet program for parents seeking temporary care.
Accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the CDC has numerous activities both to entertain and assist a child’s learning in a safe, supervised environment. Children may play and learn individually or in groups supervised by caregivers.
The CDC’s activity centers include reading, music, painting, water play and sand tables. Weather permitting, children may play outside on playground equipment. The CDC also provides breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack.
The CDC is open 6 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and is closed holidays and weekends. For more information, call the CDC office at 623-856-6339.
Family Child Care
Family Child Care (FCC) provides you with alternatives to center-based child care. You can trust your children to the responsible, safe, supportive care that thousands of other Air Force families have discovered — U.S. Air Force Family Child Care. FCC offers in-home care for your children ages 2 weeks to 14 years in both on-base housing and civilian communities.
Far from a simple baby-sitting service, FCC providers must meet stringent requirements. They are required to be at least 18 years old; able to speak, read and write English; and be in good mental and physical health. They must pass a comprehensive background check (including family members) and complete an orientation program prior to licensing.
Additionally, within the first 18 months of licensing, providers must complete 15 Air Force training modules equaling approximately 60 hours of training. Finally, to ensure your peace of mind, they are required to complete additional training each year, similar to that required of CDC employees.
When you leave your child in an FCC home, you can be sure that it is fully equipped for your child’s physical safety. That’s because the FCC program lends providers important child safety items such as safety gates, first-aid kits, doorknob covers, electrical outlet covers, etc. Home inspections are also conducted unannounced monthly to ensure that every provider is consistently maintaining all safety standards.
FCC is now available in civilian communities in off-base affiliated-provider homes primarily in the city of Surprise. Offering the same standards in safety, developmentally appropriate equipment and individualized attention as on-base settings, these homes meet Air Force standards as well as standards of the state that has child care licensing jurisdiction.
FCC offers numerous programs to assist parents with immediate child care needs.
Child Care for PCS: Cares for children while parents prepare for a PCS move. It gives parents 20 hours of free child care per child at both the departing and new base. It must be used within 60 days of departure or arrival.
Subsidy Program: Allows parents to use an Air Force FCC program for the same cost as the Child Development Center or School Age Programs.
Extended Duty Care: Available during nontraditional hours for parents working temporarily extended or additional shifts to support the mission.
Returning Home Care: Child care is available for eligible members returning after a minimum 30-day deployment in support of contingency operations, after a series of short-term deployments totaling 30 days in a six-month period, or during members’ two-week R&R leave from a deployed location. It offers 16 hours of child care for each child less than 12 years old.
For additional information on these programs, call the Family Child Care office at 623-856-7472.
The Youth Center assists active-duty personnel and DOD civilians by offering a safe, educational environment for youths ages 6 to 18. Located in Building 1143 near Fowler Park, the Youth Center is affiliated with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and 4-H.
Daily programs include homework assistance, computer resources, job referral, community service projects, youth transition programs, social programs, sports programs, instructional classes, before- and after-school programs, summer camps, holiday camps, 4-H, open recreation, the Air Force Fit Factor Program, the Air Force Youth Employment Program, Friday night programs, and holiday events and festivals. Annual programs include the Boys & Girls Club Fine Arts Contest, Boys & Girls Club Photography Contest, Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year Program, Boys & Girls Club Kids Wide World Day of Play and the Breakfast with Santa/Kris Kringle Market.
Youths ages 11 to 13 are welcome to join the Boys & Girls Club “Torch Club,” which provides experience to develop productive citizens. Youths ages 14 to 18 will benefit from the Youth Center’s career preparation program and financial skills classes, and the Boys & Girls Club “Keystone Club,” which promotes leadership and citizenship.
Program-specific calendars are available at the Youth Center and list all events, costs, dates and times. For further information, visit the Youth Activities Center office, or call 623-856-7470/7471.