Presidio of Monterey CYS steps up hiring with job fairs

By Winifred BrownFebruary 16, 2023

Presidio of Monterey CYS steps up hiring with job fairs
Applicants participate in the CYS On-the-Spot Hiring Fair at the Monterey Child Development Center, Ord Military Community, Calif., Feb. 11. (Photo Credit: Winifred Brown) VIEW ORIGINAL

PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. (Feb. 16, 2023) — The Presidio of Monterey’s Child and Youth Services has stepped up hiring for child-care providers by holding on-the-spot hiring events.

The installation’s child-care facility for young children has had a waitlist due to a shortage of employees, and the organization’s goal of 100% capacity is now in sight, said Joaquin “Junior” Finona, acting director of PoM Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation.

Officials were able to hire 13 applicants at their most recent Feb. 11 hiring fair, and they hired another 10 about three months ago, Finona said.

Holly Keller, coordinator for PoM CYS, said the new employees are a huge asset to the facility and parents.

“PoM CYS will be able to open a closed infant classroom and offer more care to working families at PoM,” Keller said. “Additionally, we will be able to increase spaces in rooms that have been limited due to staffing.”

Keller said she has worked in the child-care field for more than 12 years and has worked for the federal government for all but two of those years.

“I have found CYS particularly rewarding because the amount of support military-related caregivers receive, and I love to spread that message to young professionals in early childhood,” Keller said. “Military day-care systems are a model for the nation in terms or training and opportunity.”

Those who missed the hiring event can apply any time on USAJobs, Keller said. The job’s official title is “Child and Youth Program Assistant.”

Not only is the starting pay $19.52 an hour, but there are several benefits, Keller said.

For example, military spouses or civilians can create a lifelong career in CYS because they can transfer to any installation throughout the world with a guaranteed position in CYS, Keller said.

In addition, employees can register for college and obtain credits toward a degree with the required Virtual Lab School Module training, Keller said.

CYPAs can also use their training and work experience to receive a Child Development Associate Credential, Keller said. The credential is similar to an associate degree and would typically cost upwards of $200, but Army CYS offers it for free to all CYS employees.

Employees can also use their training to move up the ladder in CYS toward management positions, Keller said.

CYS entry-level employees start in flex positions without accrued leave and insurance, but depending on their experience or education in early childhood education or related fields, they can negotiate for those benefits, Keller said. Most employees move into a benefited position within six months of hire.

From date of hire to working with children takes about 30 days due to on-boarding, background checks, and training requirements, Keller said. The completion of the VLS Modules takes up to 18 months to complete.

Marli Jennings, a CYPA hired at the November 2022 hiring fair, said she knew from past volunteer experience that she likes working with children, and the hiring fair inspired her to apply and become a professional.

The hiring process through the job fair was fast and easy, Jennings said, and after about two months of paid training, she started working directly with the children about a week ago and enjoys it.

“It’s been great,” Jennings said. “I love the kids here.”

The position for CYPA is a continuous announcement, and CYS is always hiring and looking for new caregivers. Contact Keller at for more details. To view the USAJobs announcement, visit

Applicants must have a high school diploma or General Equivalent Diploma and be able to communicate in English orally and in writing. High school students who are 17 years old and a dependent of a service member or Department of Defense civilian employee are eligible based on verification of student status at the time of application.

CYS Parent Central Services is located in Building 4260, Ord Military Community, and it provides one-stop registration for all CYS programs, including child-care at the Monterey Road Child Development Center, the Porter Youth Center, and Family Child Care, as well as for a variety of activities that include sports and camps. For more information visit