By Karl Weisel (Wiesbaden Family and MWR)April 18, 2017
WIESBADEN, Germany - Army Higher Headquarters Inspection Team members spent three weeks in Europe this spring delving deep into every aspect of Child and Youth Services Programs.
The result: Parents can rest assured that their children are safe, secure and well cared for, according to the outstanding scores earned throughout the Installation Management Command-Europe Region.
"All IMCOM-Europe CYS programs received their annual, unannounced Army Higher Headquarters Inspections," said Joan Thomas, IMCOM-Europe's CYS program manager, explaining that the inspections are required by public law.
"Everyone did very well," Thomas said. "I attribute the overall success of the IMCOM-Europe CYS programs to the supportive leadership, dedicated staff and systems put in place to ensure the health and safety for all children and staff in our programs.
"The dedicated CYS staff has always put children first and offered outstanding quality programs as seen by IMCOM-Europe's 100 percent National Accreditation of all Child Development Centers and School-Age Centers programs," said Thomas.
For the third year in a row, Wiesbaden CYS exceeded 99 percent in the results, ranking among the Army's highest inspection results.
"We were inspected on 2,430 components, received 11 findings and had a final score of 99.58 percent," said Cecilia Kandler, Wiesbaden CYS coordinator. "Of those 11 findings, all were corrected on the spot."
Kandler, who was honored as a 2015 Installation Management Command Stalwart Award winner, praised the staff of Wiesbaden CYS for going above and beyond in serving community members. "They always step up and do the best they can despite being short-staffed, working overtime and having to temporarily close our part-day programs -- which was exacerbated by the hiring freeze.
"They're wonderful -- I don't know how they do it," Kandler said, adding, "They volunteer to stay late and work additional hours when needed. I'm very lucky as a manager."
"This is more than just a paycheck," said Anthony Buckley, a pre-kindergarten associate at Wiesbaden's Hainerberg Child Development Center.
Buckley said it's great to see the results of their daily efforts acknowledged by the Army Higher Headquarters Inspection Team, but the job is all about caring for military children.
"There is such a great diversity of children in our centers, and it's great to see them grow and learn things," Buckley said.
Kandler explained that after some staffing challenges due to the hiring freeze, she was happy to see the Strong Beginnings program back in operation and was looking forward to being able to offer part-day programs in the coming weeks. "Our part-day toddler and part-day preschool programs will come back online on May 1 once our new staff members are fully trained," she said.
"I would hope that people feel confident in the safety of their children when dropping their children off in our facilities knowing that we are continuously inspected and receive high marks," added Kandler.