CYS, parents prepare for permanent hours switch
August 3, 2012
By Jim Dresbach
The U. S. Army Child, Youth and School Services (CYS) child care availability on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall will have some changes this fall.
In a July 11 memorandum, the CYS informed the public of a contraction of service hours for patrons at the Cody Child Development Center, the T-482 CDC Annex on McNair Road and the School Age Services/Middle School Teen Center (SAS/MST) programs.
The new operating hours for CYS services beginning Sept. 4 will be from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. A major reason for the reduction of hours is that funding only paid for a 12-hour CYS work day.
"We are currently open 5:30 in the morning to 6:30 at night; however, we are going to go from 6 in the morning to 6 at night," said CYS Services Coordinator Arleta Briner. "We did a year-long study and figured out, that on the average over a one-year period, we only had 20 children we cared for between six to 6:30 in the morning and six to 6:30 at night. That was costing us about $110,000 dollars [a year] to provide care during those time frames."
Breaking the attendance down further, Briner noted that late pick-ups widely out-numbered early-day drop-offs. On some work days, those children waiting for late pick-ups could number into the double digits while morning drop-offs could range from no students to close to five.
"There were days where we didn't have any kids, for example, in the center between 5:30 and 6 in the morning, so of course, these days, the Army is looking to do things better and more efficiently," Briner said. "We're a business, so fiscally; it is not responsible to keep those hours open considering how much it was costing us."
According to Briner, reactions from parents, who use the JBM-HH-based facilities, have been positive and accepting of the hour reduction news.
"What's interesting is back in May, I brought this up to our parent advisory group," Briner said. "When we discussed this in the meeting, parents understood the fiscal part of this. However, there were a few parents who were using those hours, but they understood.
"We had both pros and cons since we've put out the letter," she added. "We actually had some parents say thank you, and you needed to do this so we can go to our bosses and tell them they now need to adjust their schedules."
Currently, the Cody facility has the capability to provide care for 400 children while the T-482 site hosts 82 kids. CYS child development facilities are widely used by Pentagon employees, members of The U.S. Army Band, "Pershing's Own" and parents in The Old Guard companies.