You might’ve heard the term tossed around from time to time, especially around the Month of the Military Child. But what exactly does CYS do and how can it benefit your family? Here’s everything you need to know about this dynamic military family resource!
The Department of Defense provides Child and Youth Services (CYS) program to all service member families. The goal is to make it easier for active duty and their spouses to balance being a parent. As if that weren't hard enough, long active-duty hours make it even more difficult. To help, CYS offers an array of childcare programs, including daycare, fitness, sports and other activities. Each branch of the military offers specific programming. That means what you find on an Army post might not be the same as a Naval base. So, be sure to check with your installation office for the ins and outs of what’s available to you!
No matter which branch you call your own, the DoD has a program in place to help offset the cost of childcare. This Fee Assistance Program (FAP) can defray the cost of looking after little ones so spouses have a chance to work outside the home. Most often, if you’re looking for in-home childcare while living on base, the Family Child Care program provides this service for children between 4 weeks and 12 years old.
Extra Curricular Activities
School-age centers provide children between 6-12 years old with after-school, weekend and summer programs. Youth Centers are for kids between the ages of 11-18 and programs for leadership skills, academic support, mentoring, nutrition, fitness, the arts, workforce preparation, recreation and more.
Homework centers are available to all K-12 students seeking help with their studies before and after school. Children between 3-18 years old can participate in individual and team sports, health and nutrition classes and competitions. CYS staff and volunteer coaches get them on track to establish lasting healthy habits.
Deployment Support Services
The families of deployed service members often need a little extra help. CYS can help. Operation Military Child Care helps to find childcare services for reduced rates. Child behavior consultants are available for non-medical, situational problem-solving to the families of deployed Soldiers. Because managing a family with one parent deployed can be especially difficult, CYS offers temporary relief from childcare responsibilities through Respite Child Care. This awesome service provides 16 hours of relief per child every month for free.
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