|ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Family and Morale, Welfare and
Recreation Command) — Beginning Oct. 1, most Army Families will see an
increase in their child care fees, while others will see a reduction and
some will see no change in fees for School Year 2010-2011. This is a
result of a new Department of Defense (DoD) policy.
According to Maj. Gen. Reuben Jones, commander of the Family and Morale,
Welfare and Recreation Command (Family and MWR Command), the Army will
ensure outstanding Child and Youth Programs and a quality of life for
Soldiers and Families commensurate with their service.
“Army Families will continue to have access to some of the best Child
and Youth Programs found anywhere in the world,” Jones said. “These
programs are an important part of our military communities and will
continue to be a great value for our Soldiers and their Families.”
At Fort McCoy ...
Letters detailing the changes in the
Child, Youth and School (CYS) Services fees were given to
Families with children in the Fort McCoy CYS Services program,
said Jan Fink, Fort McCoy Child, Youth and School (CYS) Services
“Fort McCoy will continue to offer high-quality programs to the
Families involved in CYS Services,” Fink said. “The new fee
structure is designed to help standardize the fees (over a
period of time) so parents know what their child care costs are
no matter where they are serving.”
Families have received information about their specific fee
changes through personal contacts at their CYS Services location
and, in the Fort McCoy community, at the Parent Advisory council
meeting held Sept. 8. Fink said updated information about the
Fort McCoy CYS Services programs will be presented at regularly
scheduled Parent Advisory Council meetings.
The Army Family Action Plan (AFAP) also played an important role in
shaping the new policy, Jones said.
One result of AFAP was an expansion in the number of income
categories to better reflect the full range of Family incomes found
across the Army.
By law, child care fees are based on total Family income (excluding
certain special pay and allowances), not rank or civilian grade. In
2008, DoD conducted an in-depth study of the child-development program
fee policy. As a result, they determined current fee ranges no longer
were in sync with the total Family income for a majority of the users,
and the fees have not kept pace with the increasing costs of providing
“While the cost of providing child care has risen each of the past six
years, the value of the programs has also increased for Soldiers, their
children and the Army,” said Peggy Hinson, CYS Services director at
Family and MWR Command.
“Our child care programs promote early learning. Most Army programs are
nationally accredited (including Fort McCoy’s program), and most
importantly, Soldiers can concentrate on their mission, knowing their
children are safe and well cared for in a fully-accredited child care
system,” she explained.
The National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies,
the country’s leading voice for child care, issues a biennial report on
the quality of nationwide child care, including the DoD. The 2007 study
found that the DoD child care system “stands alone as a model for
states.” In that report, military child care ranked first among the 50
states and the District of Columbia, and was the only entity to score in
the top 10 for both standards and oversight criteria.
A 2009 update confirmed that DoD child care continues to score more than
60 percent above the national average.
Since 2004, child care fees at most Army garrisons have remained static
in an attempt to ease the burden of persistent conflict and multiple
deployments. In an effort to minimize the financial impact of fee
increases, the Army received approval from DoD to begin a phased in
implementation of this new Child Care Fee Policy. Individual
installations will have plans to reach fixed dollar amounts for each fee
category within the next three years.
“It’s important, in keeping with the promises made in the Army Family
Covenant, that we do everything we can to minimize the impact the DoD
fee changes will have on our Soldiers and their Families,” said Jones.
Currently there are six fee categories, including a minimum fixed rate
and five income-based categories, each with a range of fees determined
by the garrison.
The School Year 2010-2011 Child Care Fee Policy will contain nine
categories, with three added at the top to more accurately accommodate
Under existing policy, Families earning $70,001 pay the same fees as
those making more than $100,000. The three additional categories will
raise fees incrementally to cover Families earning $125,001 or more
Those earning $85,000 and below will see smaller increases.
Furthermore, some lower-income Army Families will pay reduced fees under
the new policy.
As always, Families with more than one child will receive multiple-child
reductions, regardless of total Family income. This now will become an
Armywide standard 15 percent discount for second and subsequent
Commanders may authorize additional fee reductions for Families with
temporary, documented financial hardships. Army Family Covenant fee
reductions are in effect for youth in CYS Services programs, while their
military parents are deployed.
In addition to Child Development Center fees, the Army’s 2010-2011 Fee
Policy covers all CYS Services programs, including: Full Day; Part Day;
Part Time; School Age and Hourly Care; Family Child Care Homes; SKIESUnlimited
Instructional Programs and Youth Sports.
Additional Armywide information will be provided through town hall
meetings, social media, radio and television commercials and print
materials. The Army will launch a website in late August to provide
additional information on its School Year 2010-2011 Child Care Fee
For additional information about the School Year 2010-11 Child & Youth
Fee Policy, including fee structure tables, visit the Army OneSource
http://www.armyonesource.com. Click on the Army OneSource button on
the right navigation pane and open the CYSS tab.