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The Mountaineer Online



Fort Drum Families face increased child care costs


Pre-toddlers eat lunch at Po Valley Child Development Center. Soldiers and Families who use Child, Youth and School Services programs may face an increase in fees beginning Oct. 1. The changes mark the end of a three-year plan to streamline child care costs across the Department of Defense. (Photo by Michelle Kennedy)
Pre-toddlers eat lunch at Po Valley Child Development Center. Soldiers and Families who use Child, Youth and School Services programs may face an increase in fees beginning Oct. 1. The changes mark the end of a three-year plan to streamline child care costs across the Department of Defense. (Photo by Michelle Kennedy)

Michelle Kennedy

Staff Writer

Fort Drum Soldiers and Families with children in Child, Youth and School Services programs will see a change in fees beginning Oct. 1.
The change is part of the Army’s three-year transition to comply with Department of Defense Child and Youth Fee policy, which aims at creating predictable and consistent child care fees across all military services. The DoD policy will be implemented by 2014.
“(CYSS) fees have steadily increased over the last three years,” said Karin Sikirica, CYSS coordinator. “DoD’s goal is to have a single fee for each total family income category by school year 2014-2015.”
The fee changes apply to full- and part-day care and School Age Services. Families enrolled in affected programs on post have been or will be notified of all changes by each CYSS facility.
Because it had not increased its fees since 1999, Fort Drum CYSS was given three years to steadily increase its fees to match those at other installations, Sikirica added.
Fort Drum programs that will be affected are as follows:

  • Full-day child care fees will increase by an average of 3 percent;
  • Part-day fees will decrease by an average of 4 percent;
  • School-age care and kindergarten fees will increase by 12 percent; and
  • Before-school care will decrease by 7 percent and after-school care will increase by 9.5 percent.

A complete list of fees for the 2013 fiscal year can be picked up at Parent Central Services in Clark Hall, CYSS facilities or at the Fort Drum Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation website at www.drummwr.com.

Deployment benefits continue
Last month, CYSS officials announced that some of the deployment benefits offered under the Army Family Covenant would be discontinued, to include the 20-percent discount on CYSS programs.
However, Sikirica explained that this is no longer the case, and Soldiers and Families will continue to receive discounted fees for CYSS full-day child care, hourly care, youth sports programs and SKIES Unlimited services.
“Deploying Soldiers and their Families deserve the same benefits received during previous deployments for their service,” Sikirica said, adding that quality CYSS programs impact Soldier readiness and retention. “CYSS programs help minimize the conflict between mission requirements and parental responsibilities. These programs are an investment in the future of the nation and Army.
“Army Families have peace of mind both on the battlefield and on the job because their children are in safe, healthy and secure environments. The Army is a great place to raise a Family,” Sikirica continued. “The Army continues its commitment to affordable child care and youth programs by striving to keep fees lower than comparable community programs and by paying a portion of the cost of care for all Families using child and youth programs.”
For more information about CYSS fees, call Parent Central Services at 772-8675.





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