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Information for Parents

Information for CYSS Parents
Army begins final phase of childcare fee changes

Army begins final phase of childcare fee changes
By Evan Dyson,
U.S. Army Installation Management Command

SAN ANTONIO – To coincide with a Department of Defense policy to standardize the cost of childcare across the Services, the Army will institute new fees for Child and Youth Programs beginning Oct. 1.

The change affects users of Child Development Centers, School Age Care, Family Child Care, Middle School & Teen Programs, SKIESUnlimited instructional programs, Youth Sports & Fitness, and Army Community Based Programs.

This year will mark the final phase of the Army's three-year transition to comply with the DoD Child and Youth Fee Policy.

Depending on location, some Families may see an increase in their childcare fees, while others will see a reduction. In some cases, Families may not see changes.

The new fees are based on total family income, not rank or civilian grade. By 2014, DoD plans to have fully implemented consistent fees for each of the six total family-income categories. The intent of this policy is to create predictable and consistent childcare fees across all of the Services.

The U.S. Army Installation Management Command, through its Family and MWR Programs, continues its commitment to affordable childcare and youth programs by striving to keep fees lower than comparable community programs and by paying a portion of the cost for Child and Youth Programs.

Families affected by the new fees will receive information about their specific changes through their local CYS Services.

Army Fee Assistance can be used toward annual child registration fees, full-day care, part-time care, before and after school and summer school age care, respite child care, financial hardship waivers and reductions for Wounded Warriors, Families with multiple children, and Survivors of Fallen Soldiers. To participate, Families and Community Child Care providers must complete an online application. For more information, contact the Army Fee Assistance administrator at 210-466-1057.

- -posted 18SEP 2012


USDACYS Services provides wholesome, healthy foods for your child. Garrisons within the continental United States participate in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Garrisons outside of the continental United States are not eligible to enroll in the program, but are still required to follow the nutritional guidelines outlined in the USDA CACFP. Based on USDA nutritional guidelines, all CYS programs provide meals that include full-strength juices, dairy, meats, fresh fruits and vegetables. These foods provide the highest nutritional value for your child's health. Garrisons also receive nutritional guidance and educational materials from USDA.

Did You Know...

Did You Know...
that your child care fees are lowered due to reimbursement provided to the Army by its participation in the USDA CACFP? The Army provides a comparable reimbursement to lower fees for Garrisons outside of the continental United States.

We encourage Families to follow the USDA nutritional guidelines in their homes.
  • Visit the USDA CACFP site, which provides meal guidelines for infants, children and adults.
Team Up at Home

CYS Services Parent Participation Program

CYS Services Parent Participation Program provides parents an excellent opportunity to share their unique gifts, talents and abilities while volunteering in regularly scheduled programs. Find out more by reading the CYS Services Parent Participation Program Fact Sheet.

Baby Signs

Baby SignsBaby Signs is part of the infant and toddler curriculum at many Child Development Centers. Baby Signs is a sign language program for babies that enables babies and parents to have better communication almost a full year before the child is able to talk.

The Baby Signs program was developed by child development experts and is the result of two decades of research funded by the National Institute of Health. 

Benefits of the Baby Signs program:

  • Reduces frustration
  • Strengthens the bond between parent and infant
  • Makes learning to talk easier
  • Stimulates intellectual development
  • Enhances infant self-esteem
  • Provides a window into your baby's world

For more information about the Baby Signs program, visit
For information about Baby Signs programs at your Garrison - Click here to find local Garrison CYS services.

Home Alone Policy and Guidance

The Department of Defense requires each Garrison to develop a child supervision policy that offers guidelines for parents and the community to ensure child safety and parental responsibility.

Be sure to check out the Home Alone policy on your Garrison - Click here to find local Garrison CYS services.

The Army Family Covenant

CYS is committed to improving Family readiness by:

  • Standardizing and funding existing Family programs and services
  • Increasing accessibility and quality of healthcare
  • Improving Soldier and Family housing
  • Ensuring excellence in schools, youth services, and child care
  • Expanding education and employment opportunities for Family members

Resources for Military Children Affected by Deployment
  • "TRICARE 365" DVDs Address Deployment Issues for Military Children

    View videos on the American Academy of Pediatrics Deployment Support Web siteMilitary pediatricians and youth professionals, including The United States Army Medical Command and the American Academy of Pediatrics, developed DVDs to help military children understand and deal with the emotions related to a family member's deployment.

    For teens is the DVD "Military Youth Coping with Separation: When Family Members Deploy" in which real teens discuss deployment and various coping mechanisms.

    For elementary age children there is the "Mr. Poe and Friends Discuss Reunion After Deployment" DVD. The animated host, Mr. Poe, mentors and provides guidance to children and Family members as they discuss deployment.

    Both videos are available for online viewing on the
    American Academy of Pediatrics Deployment Support Web site.

    Click here to
    order the videos in DVD format through Military One Source or call 1-800-342-9647. Click here to view the TRICARE News Release about the DVDs.

  • Coping With Their Parents' War

    A Washington Post article about the stress multiple deployments put on children of Military Families, and ways to cope. (Opens new window)

  • More Resources for Military Children Affected by Deployment

    When parents are deployed, this can place a great amount of stress on children. The attached document provides an extensive list of resources (books, kits, DVDs, and web sites) targeted at helping children and parents cope during deployment. Click here to download Resources for Military Children Affected by Deployment (PDF 25KB).

  • The Sesame Street Experience for Military Families

    talk. listen. connect.Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street, and the USO (United Service Organizations) partnered to bring "The Sesame Street Experience for Military Families" to 42 military installations in the U.S. during the summer and fall of 2008, reaching over 75,000 people. The Sesame Street Experience was produced in conjunction with Sesame Workshop’s Talk, Listen, Connect initiative, a military outreach program that aims to help children cope with the absence – and homecoming – of a deployed parent or loved one. If you missed-out on the show, many of the topics Elmo and his friends discussed and sang about can be found on the Talk, Listen, Connect DVD series, which tells the story of Elmo coping with his father having to leave home.

    To download and watch the videos, or for more information on "The Sesame Street Experience for Military Families" or Talk, Listen, Connect, visit (Opens new window).