The KMC Air Force and Army Child Youth & School Services has an outstanding partnership focused on providing the highest quality child care for the entire U.S. population in the KMC.
CYSS is focused on reducing waiting times needed to secure the best possible child care when and where it’s needed. CYSS is also dedicated to assisting all Department of Defense military and civilian personnel with balancing the competing demands of mission and family by managing and delivering a system of quality, available and affordable programs, and services for eligible children. The programs and services available are accredited programs, including the child development centers (6 weeks to 5 years old), family child care homes (infant through school age), before and afterschool programs (6 to 12 years old), youth programs (9 to 18 years old), youth sports and instructional programs.
U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz has the capability to provide approximately 600 CDC spaces and 250 school age care spaces. USAG-RP operates five CDCs (on Landstuhl, Kleber, Miesau and Baumholder) and three school age centers (on Landstuhl, Sembach and Baumholder). A project to create 60 additional CDC spaces at the Sembach CDC is projected for completion in 2015.
The 86th Airlift Wing has the capability to provide child care for approximately 550 children in five CDC facilities on Ramstein and Vogelweh and the capability to provide before and afterschool programs for approximately 500 children at five school age program facilities on Ramstein, Vogelweh and Kapaun. A project to create more than 30 additional infant spaces is expected to be completed in May.
Army and Air Force facilities meet the same high standards for DOD certification and national accreditation. All facilities are inspected annually and meet similar training requirements for staff. Even though the Army and Air Force have their own waiting list policies (and separate waiting lists), they work together to ensure each parent has signed up their child for the best possible location.
One further option for child care in the KMC is through the Family Child Care program. The 86th Force Support Squadron oversees the FCC program for Army and Air Force families. There are currently 35 licensed FCC homes in the KMC that have the capacity to care for more than 200 children.
As CYSS strives to provide quality and timely care, it faces a significant challenge in finding qualified individuals to work in the facilities. CYSS experiences high staff turnover, and there are a limited number of available employees.
In addition, hiring new staff is a lengthy process that requires comprehensive background checks, physicals, new employee orientation and initial training — all of which must be completed before the employee is allowed to work with a child. Efforts to increase applicants and expedite the hiring process have been established, including comprehensive marketing strategies and internal streamlining of human resources procedures. CYSS will continue to focus on this effort, and hopefully this will drive a reduction in the time a family spends on the waiting list waiting for just the right care.
Though waiting lists are long, they include families that already have child care but are waiting for a space closer to home or their place of work. Parents who must have child care in order to go to work can generally be placed within 24 hours, but they may not be placed in their facility location of choice. In these cases, parents are placed back on the waiting list until their preferred facility space becomes available.
Families requesting care or information on licensed and affiliated FCC providers may visit the Resource and Referral Office at the Ramstein CDC, Bldg. 832, the Crossroads Annex on Vogelweh, the Parent Central Services on Pulaski Barracks, Bldg. 2898, or at the MWR One-Stop Shop located in the Landstuhl Library.
If interested in employment at one of the CDCs or SAPs or in becoming an FCC provider, apply online at www.usajobs.gov, www.nafjobs.org or www.armycivilianservice.com/content/naf-opportunities.