HQMC (MR) QUANTICO, VA – The Department of Defense (DoD) has released the fee schedule for military Child Development Centers (CDCs) for the 2010-2011 school year. The new fee schedule will increase fees to adjust for inflation, eliminate overlap among the fee ranges, and will add three new fee categories for families that make more than $70,000 per year.
DoD has not changed fees since the 2004/2005 school year. When the new fee schedule goes into effect, most CDC patrons will see a fee increase of about 5 percent or $1- $4 per week. The fees will continue to be based on total family income and will be determined using the patron’s Leave and Earnings Statements. Under the new schedule, the fees will also be reviewed each year and future changes will be directly linked to cost of living increases.
The new fee scale, which sets low-end and high-end amounts for nine income categories, includes an optional "high cost fee range" for areas where installations must increase caregiver wages in order to compete with local labor markets. Installation commanding officers are responsible for setting weekly fees within the DoD prescribed ranges based on total family income, and are authorized to give discounts of as much as 20 percent to families with two or more children attending a military CDC. On a case-by-case basis, commanding officers may also grant exceptions to the fee policy based on hardships, such as reduced income resulting from divorce or illness.
According to Jane Steinen, the head of Marine Corps Children, Youth, and Teen Programs, “Marine Corps CDCs provide care every day to nearly 12,000 children. We consider child care to be a workforce issue with direct impact on readiness of the force. For the past five years, the Service program mangers have recommended that DoD not change the fee schedule. But as inflation and other costs increase, we can not keep delaying adjusting the parent fees. The gap will continue to widen, and families and programs will find it harder to bridge the gap.”
Steinen added “Continuous improvements and quality programs can not be provided on past years parent fees. The average weekly fee charged in Marine Corps CDCs in March 2010 was $103. Even with a fee increase, fees charged by CDCs remain significantly lower than those charged by civilian child care centers which can cost up to $305 per week for a similar quality of care.”
For more information about changes to the current fees you should contact your installation CDC program director or go to http://www.usmc-mccs.org/cyt/fees.cfm.