Beginning 1 November 2014 Army Child Care and Youth fees will be adjusted to comply with the school year 2014-2015 Department of Defense Child Development Program Fee Policy. Each Service will issue fee guidelines for regularly scheduled CDC and SAC programs, as well as criteria that allow installation commanders to grant case-by-case exceptions to the fee policy for unusual financial circumstances, such as when a family’s total income declines to a lower fee category.
The DoD SY14-15 Child and Youth Fee Policy will continue the transition to single fees within TFI categories to provide consistent child care fees across the Military Services. The single fee structure minimizes the financial impact on Families while ensuring Families pay a share of their work-related child care expenses. The Army continues its commitment to affordable child care and youth programs by paying a portion of the cost of care for all Families using Child and Youth Programs. Completion of the transition is expected by SY15-16.
DoD Total Family Income (TFI) Categories
||$0 - $30,466
||$30,467 - $36,993
||$36,994 - $47,873
||$47,874 - $59,841
||$59,842 - $76,162
||$76,163 - $88,079
||$88,080 - $103,622
||$103,623 - $129,572
in CAT 9
STANDARD HOURLY RATE: $4.00
The Military Child Care Act of 1989, codified in Section 568 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 1996, requires DoD to establish DoD-wide Child care Fees based on Total Family Income (TFI). The congressional intent is for Families to pay a share of their work-related child care expenses and DoD to provide fee assistance to lower the cost of care for all Families.
The Army continues to invest in the availability, affordability and quality of its Child & Youth Programs to support Army Families who sacrifice everyday for the security of the Nation.
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The School Year 2014-2015 Army Child and Youth Fee Policy addresses patron fees for Child Development Centers (CDCs), School Age Care (SAC), Family Child Care (FCC), Middle School & Teen Programs, SKIES Unlimited Instructional Programs, Youth Sports & Fitness, and Community Based Programs.
The new military child care fee policy will reduce the wide disparity in fees charged in child and youth programs across DoD Services.
The Army and Army Families share the cost of providing child and youth programs.
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Q&A's for Community Based Programs:
- What is Army Fee Assistance?
It is the Army’s contribution toward the total cost of child care for Army Families. In on post programs, Army Fee Assistance supplements Parent Fees to cover the actual cost of care. In Community Based programs, Army Fee Assistance buys down the higher cost of off post care allowing eligible Families to pay parent fees based on those charged at Army installations.
- What are the major changes in the DoD Child Care Fee Policy for SY 14-15?
Based on a DoD review of military child care studies, the SY 14-15 fee ranges include the elimination of fee assistance for contractor employees in Total Family Income Category 9. This change affects all Child Development Centers, Family Child Care homes, School Age Care programs and Community Based programs that receive DoD child care fee assistance. In addition, contractor employees in TFI Category 9 will no longer receive the Multiple Child Reduction for additional children in the same Family.
Additional changes include a fee increase of $6-$10 across the TFI Categories. Currently enrolled, non-NDAA 2000 users will be grandfathers under their current terms until the release of the SY15-16 Army Child and Youth Fee Policy.
- Is this the first of other fee assistance that will be phased out?
According to Department of Defense, it is possible in the future, but no decisions have been made at this time. Multi-year trends and analysis may determine discontinuation of fee assistance in other categories for contractor employees in the future. The implications of fee increases will then be studied to determine the impact on the overall fee system before further changes are implemented.
- Who will be affected by these fees?
These fees apply to families who attend regularly scheduled Child Development Center (CDC), Family Child Care and School Age Care (SAC) programs during the year.
How can DoD make this kind of decision? Isn’t child care an entitlement?
DoD child care is not an entitlement. Child care is a readiness issue and priority for child care is given to working Families, but even for these families, military child care is not always available. The demand is high and the spaces are limited. The Military Child Care Act of 1989 required DoD to establish a uniform fee schedule based on Family income. Patrons who use DoD child development programs pay for services. Parent fees account for a portion of the cost of child care. The remaining child care costs are paid for with appropriated funds authorized by Congress.
What services will families receive for the new fee ranges?
Fees include 50 hours of care per week and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved meals (breakfast, lunch and a snack). Full Day SAC program fees should be based on Full Day CDC fees and include the number of hours the program is operating SAC. The SAC rates include all meals and snacks when provided. Fees must be reduced by 20 percent when meals and snacks are not provided during the full-day summer program.
When will the new child care fees go into effect?
The SY14-15 CYS Services installation fees are effective NLT 1 Nov 2014. Community Based fees for ACCYN/ASPYN and new enrollees will begin 1 Nov 2014, and for children currently enrolled in Community Based programs (e.g. OMCC and MCCYN) new fees will go into effect during re-registration of each child.
How is TFI determined, and what forms are required for verification?
The Application for Department of Defense Child Care Fees DD Form 2652 or electronic equivalent will be used to verify the total family income (TFI) as defined in (DoDIs) 6060.2.
Why is the allowance for housing included in the total family income computation?
Section 1793(a) of Title 10, United States Code requires the Department of Defense (DoD) to establish DoD wide uniform child care fees based on total family income (TFI). In 1990, when the fee policy was first established, the family's Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 1040 was used to determine TFI.
In 1993, the definition of TFI was changed to be consistent with the Internal Revenue Code's definition for military members claiming Earned Income Tax Credit for Child Care. According to the IRS definition, TFI comprises all earned income to include wages, salaries, tips, long term disability, voluntary salary deferrals, quarters allowances (BAQ), subsistence allowances (BAS), and in-kind quarters and subsistence received by military members, and anything else of value, even if not taxable. Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH Type II) was used instead of BAQ because of changes to the housing allowance system in 1998.
The computation of TFI is based on earned income rather than on disposable income. The BAH used to calculate TFI represents an in-kind service that you receive in lieu of a housing payment. As noted above, subsistence allowance is included in the category of earned income.
Parent fees are established to generate approximately 50% of the direct costs of operating the program with the remainder of the program subsidized by appropriated funds. Regardless of income, all military child development program patrons receive some level of subsidy.
How is TFI calculated for non-related Families or non-married couples and for couples who are geographically separated?
In households where non-related Families are living in the same residence, include the income of all adults who financially contribute to the welfare of the child. In households where the parents are married or in a legal partnership and the custodial parent is geographically separated from the sponsor include the income of both.
How is the income for spouses/partners who work on commission and who do not have a previous tax return calculated?
Based on DoD guidance individuals who have no employment income history and whose income fluctuates throughout the year must provide an employer estimate of the anticipated earnings. Individuals who are self-employed will be required to provide an estimate of annual earnings.
How is the income for individuals who own their own business calculated?
Based on DoD guidance the TFI is calculated using the business net income.
Will families have to resubmit documentation if there have been no changes to financial arrangements?
All families are required to provide documentation, such as a current Leave and Earning Statement (LES), annually to verify their income. This information is necessary for future assessments of the fee policy.
What happens if I do not provide the required income documents to determine my TFI Category?
Families who do not show proof of income are charged the TFI Category 9 fee.
- What happens if I am unable to pay child care fees?
Commanders may authorize financial hardship waivers for Families with temporary documented financial hardships. Information is available at the local CYS Services Office.
- Will civilian employees be taxed on the value of the child care space?
Title 26, United States Code, section 61 and title 26, Code of Federal Regulations, section 1.61-1, Internal Revenue Code (IRC), provide that child care subsidies are generally treated as income. This income is generally calculated by adding the value of the subsidy to the taxable income of civilian employees who benefit from the subsidies. The cost of each space in DoD installation based child development programs is equally subsidized for both Military Service members and civilian patrons through appropriated funds. These subsidies include direct support for a limited number of staff salaries, equipment and supplies. Additional financial support is provided in the form of installation contracts, facility and grounds maintenance, and other personnel support. In the absence of subsidies, the cost of child development programs offered to both Military Service members and civilian employees would be significantly higher. DoD will designate a Third Party Administrator (TPA) and civilians will be required to register with this TPA. Additional information will be forthcoming and provided by DoD.
- Do Families using Army Child Care receive a discount when they have more than one child enrolled?
Yes. The full fee is paid for the child enrolled in the most expensive child care option and the remaining children receive a 15% Multiple Child Reduction (MCR). The full fee is applied to the most expensive child in the FCC Home when children are enrolled in both FCC and Center Based programs. For details visit the appropriate CYS Services Office.
- Does the Army have to follow the DoD Child Care Fee Policy?
Yes. The Military Child Care Act of 1989, codified in Section 568 of the National Defense Authorization Act for 1996, requires the DoD to establish DoD-wide uniform child care fees based on TFI for use by all branches of the Service.
- Will I need to have my TFI category revalidated?
TFI is generally only validated during CYS Services annual registration or re-registration. Exceptions include when spouses find/lose employment and/or there are reductions in TFI.
- I am a Foreign Military Service Member assigned to the Installation. What fee will be assigned to me?
Foreign Military Service members assigned to the Installation/serving the Department of Defense will pay the child and youth fee based on their TFI. .
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Q&A's for Community Based Programs:
- Who administers Army Child Care Fee Assistance for Community Based Programs? Army Child Care Fee Assistance is centrally administered by IMCOM. These services may be performed by contractors or IMCOM staff. IMCOM will provide contact information for installations.
- Who is eligible to receive Army Fee Assistance in Community Based Programs?
Soldiers and DA Civilians who cannot access installation operated Child Care or ACCYN/ASPYN Programs due to geographic location or long waiting lists are eligible. Families must select Community Care Providers who meet minimum quality standards in order to qualify. Families enrolled in military installation operated child care or Homes Off Post may not receive Community Based Army Child Care Fee Assistance support. Spouses must meet minimum hour’s requirements for work or school, be in their first 90 days of looking for work, or be eligible to receive Army deployment support services.
- How do I find Child Care off post?
Any Army Family who cannot access military child care on an installation may contact the Army Fee Assistance Administrator to receive child care referrals and to enroll in Army Fee Assistance. CYS Services Parent Central Services provides Army Fee Assistance Administrator contact information to Families who need referrals. Off post ACCYN/ASPYN child care spaces are identified to supplement on post child care at: Fort Belvoir, Fort Benning, Fort Bliss, Fort Bragg, Fort Campbell, Fort Carson, Fort Drum, Fort Hood, Fort Jackson, Fort Leonard Wood, Fort Riley, Fort Stewart/Hunter AAF, USAG Miami, Joint Base Myer/Henderson Hall, and Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Army Families at these installations can be referred by CYS Services Parent Central to the Army Fee Assistance Administrator.
- How do I know if my current Community Child Care Provider is eligible?
Provider eligibility is outlined on the Army Fee Assistance Administrator web site. Providers complete the provider portion of the on-line application. Army Fee Assistance Administrators review the application and notify both parents and providers regarding eligibility. Parents and Providers may also contact Army Fee Assistance Administrators by the phone number listed on the web site.
- What can I do if my Community Child Care Provider is not eligible?
If the Army Fee Assistance Administrator determines that a Community Child Care Provider is not eligible to participate in Army Fee Assistance, they help locate alternate Community Child Care Providers. Participating Community Child Care Providers are required to meet minimum eligibility requirements.
- How do I enroll in Army Fee Assistance for Community Based Programs?
Families and Community Child Care providers must complete the on-line Army Fee Assistance application. Supporting documents must be uploaded with the on-line application or faxed, per instructions, to demonstrate eligibility and TFI. Additional information will be provided at a later date by DoD.
- What Supporting Documents do I need for my Army Fee Assistance application?
Families are required to submit the following documents in addition to their on line application: Military or Civilian Sponsor LES for most recent 30 day period; DA Civilian Sponsor DA 3434 or SF52 (proof of employment status) from current year; spouse pay stubs for most recent 30 day period or proof of number of hours of school enrollment; certification of looking for work if spouse is unemployed; birth certificates for each child or a self certification from parent; and deployment orders if applicable. Providers are required to submit the following documents in addition to their on-line application: a copy of their state license; accreditation certificate if applicable; Child Development Associates credential if applicable; copy of their most recent state inspection report; and a copy of their fee schedule and available discounts.
- How does Community Based Programs Army Fee Assistance work?
Army Fee Assistance is paid on a monthly basis directly to Community Child Care Providers. Community Child Care Providers must submit an attendance sheet, validated by the parent and Community Child Care Provider at the end of each month in order to receive the monthly Army Fee Assistance payment. Army Fee Assistance must be renewed annually for each child.
- What does Community Based Army Fee Assistance help Families pay for?
- Annual Child Registration Fees (up to $150 per child annually)
- Full Day Care (25+ hours per week)
- Part Time Care (16-25 hours per week)
- Before & After School and Summer School Age Care
- Respite Child Care (5-16 hours/ child / month) and other deployment support services
- Reductions for Multiple Children
- Reductions for Deployment
- Reductions for Wounded Warriors and Survivors of Fallen Soldiers
- Financial Hardship Waivers
- How much Army Fee Assistance is provided for off post child care?
The intent is that Community Based Program parent fees are similar to installation parent fees. Army Fee Assistance is calculated individually for each Family and child based on multiple criteria. It varies from Family to Family and child to child, even for those using the same providers. The amount for each child is based on Total Family Income, hours of parent work and/or school attendance, child care requirements, Community Child Care Provider rates, geographic location and Army installation parent fees.
- Where do I get help if I am having problems with my Army Fee Assistance application or payment?
- Call the Army Fee Assistance Administrator for general inquiries and to follow up on the status of applications and payments.
- Call the Army Fee Assistance Administrator Customer Concerns telephone number at 1-800- 424-2246 if you have a customer service issue that needs management attention. These calls require prompt resolution and are monitored monthly by IMCOM. Contact IMCOM at 210-466-1090.
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- Benefit the Army
- Reduces lost duty time
- Balances mission and parental requirements
- Allows Soldiers to focus on mission
- Demonstrates that the Army cares about its Families
- Benefit Parents
- Supports spousal employment
- Reduces stress
- Balances parental and work responsibilities
- Provides peace of mind
- Impact decisions to stay in the Army
- Access to a comprehensive system of care/supervision from birth – 18 years
- Benefit Children
- Safe, healthy, secure environments the help Army children reach their full potential
- Early learning opportunities linked to future success at school and work
- Supportive development activities inclusive of children with disabilities and special needs
- Homework, tutoring, and technology support
- Promotes healthy lifestyle
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Additional information about CYS Services Fees:
- Fee Ranges (SY 2014 - 2015)
- Current Fee Ranges (SY 2013 - 2014)
- Additional Information and Reporting Requirements
- Notification for Contractor Employees Utilizing Military Child Development Programs School Year 2014 - 2015
- Market Adjustment Option Authorization Form
- Basic Allowance for Housing Reserve Component/Transient (BAH RC/T) Chart (2014)
- Notification for Civilian Sponsors Using Installation-Based Department of Defense Subsidized Child Development Programs during Tax Year 2014
- Frequently Asked Questions