An adjustment in child care fees that will provide consistent child care costs across the Military Services will affect the White Sands Missile Range community starting in November.
Parents can expect an increase in child care fees as the Department of Defense transitions to single fees within Total Family Income (TFI) categories.
“The most a category will go up is $10,” said Marina Lenzner, Program Operations Specialist with Child, Youth and School Services.
There will be an expected increase of $6 to $10 per month in Soldier and DA civilian TFI Categories.
Contractor employees under TFI Category 9 will see the greatest increase in fees, according to Lenzner. Contractor employees in this category will no longer qualify for fee assistance or the Multiple Child Reduction for additional children in the same family.
Depending on their child care option, TFI Category 9 employees can expect to pay $32 to $290 more per school year than military and DA civilians in the same category.
The Army will continue to provide fee assistance to qualifying families. Army Fee Assistance supplements Parent Fees to cover the actual cost of care for families enrolled in on post programs.
In addition, qualifying families using Army Child Care receive a discount when they have more than one child enrolled. The full fee is paid for the child enrolled in the most expensive child care option and the remaining children receive a 15 percent Multiple Child Reduction.
According to Lenzner, a recent survey of off-post child care options has shown that especially when it comes to infant care, the child care cost is close to what the Department of Defense charges.
“Besides allowing Soldiers and the civilian workforce to focus on its mission and providing a healthy balance between parental and work responsibilities, Army Child, Youth and School Services offers children and youth a safe and healthy environment to help them reach their full potential,” Lenzner said. “In addition, CYS Services is inclusive of children with disabilities and special needs by offering supportive development activities.”
In addition, White Sands child care facilities are DOD certified and also nationally accredited.
“Army CYS Services programs are required at a minimum to undergo four extensive inspections per year to ensure that programs are focused on the health, safety and well-being of the children and youth enrolled in CYS Services programs,” Lenzner said. “WSMR CYS Services is committed to providing all of their patrons with high quality care through offering activities that allow for social, emotional, physical, and cognitive growth.”
CYS Services offers several extracurricular activities, such as music, swim and dance classes, a variety of youth sports activities, tutoring, homework support and also many programs that encourage parent involvement.
“Transportation is offered to most activities without adding additional stress to the parent as they are not having to worry how to get their child to and from that ‘Dance Class’ he/she really wants to be a part of,” Lenzner said.
CYS Services offers child care for children of all ages. Before and after school child care is available, as well as full day child care during parent teacher conference days or other occasions when children are not in school. The Child Development Center offers age appropriate activities for infants, toddlers and preschool aged children year round. School-Age Care (SAC) provides supervised before and after school programs for children in 1st – 5th grade. Youth Services (YS), aka Middle School Teen program, offers programmed activities until 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until 10 p.m. on Saturday. Additionally, YS occasionally offers programs on Sunday.
WSMR CYS Services also offers many volunteer/parent participation opportunities, which gives parents a way to earn points, which in turn may earn them a 10 percent reduction in child care fees. Please contact Parent Central Services at 575-678-2441 to learn more about this program.