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New income-adjusted fees will take effect at child care centers on military bases worldwide by the end of September, the Defense Department announced Friday.

The changes apply to all child development centers and school-age care programs within DOD.

As part of the change, three more earnings categories were added to the fee chart, for a total of nine categories instead of six.

This was necessary, the DOD said in a release, because a 2008 survey of child care fees showed that fees were no longer in sync with the incomes of the majority of program users. The fee scale hadn’t been changed for six years.

Prior to the change, the top annual income level for determining cost was capped at $70,000. The top tier now is $125,000 and above. Some facilities already have started to charge the new fees, and all must implement the new sliding scale system by Sept. 30.

While costs went up slightly for most, some customers on the lowest tier will pay a bit less because they now fall into a different income bracket.

The DOD sets policies on fees, but base commanders set the actual rates for their installation.

To see the new rates, visit the DOD website at http://www.defense.gov/news/d20100730fees2.pdf

-- From staff reports

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