CYSS
Child, Youth & School Services is restructuring its childcare fee policy in an effort to standardize costs of services across the Department of Defense and comply with the school year 2013-2014 DoD Child Development Program Fee Policy. The new policy will be implemented on Nov. 1.

GRAFENWOEHR, Germany -- It's meant to make things simpler, but there is always an adjustment period.

Child, Youth & School Services is restructuring its childcare fee policy in an effort to standardize costs of services across the Department of Defense and comply with the school year 2013-2014 DoD Child Development Program Fee Policy. The new policy will be implemented on Nov. 1.

Families can expect to see a slight increase or decrease in fees with a maximum increase of 18 dollars per child per month.

"The purpose is to align the Army's fee structure with the Department of Defense's," said Anita Payne-Landgraf, chief of U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria's CYSS.

The Army subsidizes fees on a sliding fee scale for every family, regardless of rank, grade or income, and fees are based on total family income, or TFI.

TFI, according to Payne-Landgraf, includes all family income and basic allowance for housing. The calculation is based on a family's total income, (like the name suggests), for instance if the spouse works or receives any child support or additional income.

The family's total income puts them into one of 9 categories, which determines the rate that family pays. In addition, families with more than one child receive multiple child discounts.

A letter sent out to parents in early October detailed several changes within the new policy, including an increase in late payment fees and revised parent participation discount guidelines. However, the changes will impact families in different ways.

According to Payne-Landgraf, the modifications are very individualized. It's not an across-the-board increase; it's more of an adjustment. DOD will make minor modifications each year until the standardized cost is met. The end result will be a single DOD-wide fee policy and will apply to anyone enrolled in CYSS programs.

These changes, which began in 2010, will be finalized by 2015.

"The fees are being phased in over a period of time to reduce the impact on families," Payne-Landgraf said.

Comparatively, military families pay much less for childcare than they would pay in the private sector. According to ChildCare Aware of America, the average cost of fulltime childcare for an infant in 2011 ranges from $4,600 in Mississippi to $15,000 in Massachusetts, regardless of annual income. The Army Family paid from $2,832 (annual income under $30,000) to $7,368 (average income over $128,000).

For more information, view the policy letter in the link above or contact Parent Central Service in Rose Barracks DSN: 476-2760, CIV: 09662 83 2760, Hohenfels DSN 466-4860, CIV: 09472 83 4860 and Garmisch DSN: 440-2248, CIV: 088217 750 2248.

Page last updated Tue October 22nd, 2013 at 08:04