One of Camp Lejeune's best-kept secrets is the availability of coupons for FREE childcare! Every $50 you spend at the Exchange or the Annex qualifies you for a coupon for one free night of childcare at the Saturday Night program. And if you spend more than $50, you get additional coupons. So if you are making a large purchase like electronics, appliances, or furniture, you could get several coupons at once. Think of all the date night possibilities! All you have to do is take your receipt on the same day of purchase to the customer service desk in the Main Exchange. They will record your purchase and give you the coupons.
The Saturday Night Childcare program is run every Saturday from 6 PM- 11 PM at the Terrawa Terrace CDC and Youth Pavilion. Reservations can be made starting on Monday the week ahead, and they fill up quickly, so call as early in the week as possible! We have used the Saturday night care at the CDC many times for both our children. They will be placed in an age-appropriate room with certified staff members. You are expected to feed your children dinner before dropping them off, so you just need to include a snack and juice in their bag, along with diapers, bottles, or change of clothes for young children. After playtime and snack, the staff members will put them to bed in cribs or on cots, then turn down the lights and play soothing music. Unfortunately, my kids don't sleep well there, so we always pick them up well before 11 PM, but you have the option to get them anytime up until 11. This gives you time to go out to dinner, see a movie, go to a friend's house, whatever! It is great for getting a break during deployments, and since I always use the free coupons, I never feel guilty about getting some time for myself. If you don't have any coupons, you can pay $3 per hour per child. I highly recommend this program! What a great reward, especially if you were already planning to make purchases at the Exchange!