By Mr. Ron Toland (IMCOM)May 27, 2009
ANSBACH, Germany Aca,!" Accomplishment arrives from hard work, but it can deliver stress as well.
For that reason, Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation leadership here recognized U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach Child, Youth and School Services employees for their dedication in caring for the sons and daughters of Soldiers serving downrange.
During the last year, 46 CYS employees put in tough, long hours Aca,!" which were directly related to deployments Aca,!" and "we wanted to publically recognize them," said John Hartman, CYS coordinator for the garrison.
"The workload is high, and people tend to burn out from working too much (during) nights, weekends and special events. We needed to combat that mission fatigue by recognizing our staff," said Hartman, adding that such actions "boil down to caring about people."
"We want them to know we appreciate what they are doing; we understand it is a very stressful environment," said Hartman.
Plus, he said, itAca,!a,,cs important that childcare workers realize their own value in ensuring a Soldier is able to do his job when far away from family.
"They know their children are in good hands," said Hartman. "Our staff really Aca,!A| pours their heart into the programs."
Indeed, such giving from the CYS staff comes from a commitment in serving their community Aca,!" and it comes from making sacrifices like pulling additional hours on weekends, nights or when filling in for colleagues.
But it ensures quality programming, which, at Ansbach, means meeting Aca,!A"the level of competence and compliance we set," said Hartman.
The results are seen from the activities themselves.
For example, "We see kids wanting to be in our programs, like the annual spring camp," said Hartman.
Hartman said child development centers offer full and part-day care, as well as hourly care. School-age services offer a range of programming for their students. And the middle-school/teen program supports older children.
Parents said they are pleased with services offered.
"You do not want your child to be uncomfortable when they are not at home," said Amy Washington, who has a 2-year-old son enrolled in the toddler program at the Katterbach Child Development Center.
Washington labeled the center Aca,!A"well managed,Aca,!A? and noted her appreciation for educational services provided to her son, Adrian, who, at 2, can count from one to 25, distinguish states on a map and knows his colors and shapes.
"He benefits every day he is there," she said. "We see him growing more and more, compared to kids in other programs.
"You see a big difference between the civilian daycare centers in the States Aca,!A| and any military childcare center, which takes more time with the kids because, I believe, standards are higher.Aca,!A?
"Our standards are so high because of the commitment the Army has made to children," said Hartmann, citing the Army Family Covenant as an example.
The CovenantAca,!a,,cs priority, he said, is supporting deploying and redeploying Soldiers by taking care of their families.
Accordingly, Ansbach families receive more free time to care for other matters.
"Families with deployed Soldiers receive 16 free hours of child care and 20 percent discount on (other) fees," explained Hartmann.
The Army's childcare program is seen as a model program, according to Hartman, and adapts to childrenAca,!a,,cs needs because of its structure.
That consistency Aca,!" along with plugging in new initiatives Aca,!" creates a stronger overall program that family members take advantage of.
Mike Miller, the garrison program operations specialist for CYS, noted that "Congress realized over 20 years ago there was a need for child services, resulting in the Military Child Care Act being passed in 1988.Aca,!A?
This evolved into the Army regulation for child and youth services, Aca,!A"governing everything we do by it becoming the standard we use and adhere to today for all childcare," Miller said.
Consequently, family expectations are high worldwide.
"(When) a youth or child leaves here going to another base, they should expect the same type of quality" said Miller, "which the Army bases on standardized curriculums."