Navy, Air Force in Europe plan increase in child-care fees
September 29, 2006
Some Navy and Air Force bases in Europe are following in the footsteps of Army counterparts and raising fees at military child-care centers.
Last week, Army officials announced fee increases for all bases throughout Europe beginning Nov. 1, with families earning higher salaries seeing the greatest increase in prices.
But, unlike the Army, the changes are not universal, meaning parents in some income categories are paying different rates depending on where they are stationed.
The Navy is changing that practice.
In 2005, the Navy Installations Command completed the first year of a three-year transition plan to streamline fees so that eventually, all child-care programs will charge the same weekly fee, said Greg Young, acting director for the command’s Child Development and Youth Programs.
Rates at military child-care facilities are broken down into six categories, set by the Pentagon, and based on total family income, including wages and allowances but not factoring in cost-of-living allowance or post allowance.
For the Navy, until the transition is complete, some parents will see an increase for child care, while others could see a decrease when rate changes go into effect Nov. 30, Young said in a statement. Navy bases where fees are increasing won’t go up by more than $2 per week in the various income categories, he said.
Navy officials will give parents 30 days notice before fees change. A complete list of current fees, by base, is available in the Internet at: www.mwr.navy.mil. New fees will be posted by mid-October.
The Air Force does not have a standard fee policy for all of its child-care services in Europe, and fees are set at individual command levels, U.S. Air Forces in Europe spokeswoman Master Sgt. Lynda Valentine has said. Though fees vary from base to base, all are within the Defense Department-approved range.
Beginning Oct. 16, child-care fees will increase $2 a week across the board at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, and the prekindergarten enrichment program will increase by $1 a week in all income categories, said spokesman Tech. Sgt. Brian Jones.
In England, at RAF Lakenheath, the largest installation in the United Kingdom, will raise its fees $1 a week, officials there said, while RAF Alconbury and RAF Mildenhall will not raise rates.
Officials at some Air Force bases still are assessing whether to change fees.
At Morón Air Base, in Spain, officials have until Nov. 1 to decide whether to change fees, and the review consists of calculating the cost of nonappropriated fund wages, benefits, training and consumable supplies, and the local cost of living and cost of local national employees, spokesman Capt. Anthony Chu said.
Officials at Ramstein Air Base in Germany also are studying whether an increase is needed.
Fees will remain the same at Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany and Aviano Air Base in Italy.
Stars and Stripes reporter Bryan Mitchell contributed to this story.
Rate categories for military child-care facilities