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Families of some Europe-based troops won't see an increase in child care services in the coming year after U.S. Army Europe commander Gen. B.B. Bell successfully petitioned the Army to hold child and youth services fees at current levels in Europe.

Families of some Europe-based troops won't see an increase in child care services in the coming year after U.S. Army Europe commander Gen. B.B. Bell successfully petitioned the Army to hold child and youth services fees at current levels in Europe. (Lisa Horn / S&S)

While child-care costs will be going up throughout the Army for the next year, parents in Europe won’t have to shell out any extra cash for Child and Youth Services programs.

Families are getting an exemption to the Army-wide, 3 percent fee increases for the 2004/2005 school year for CYS programs because most of the approximately 70,000 Europe-based soldiers either are deployed to Iraq or returning from deployments.

The reprieve comes after the U.S. Army Europe commander, Gen. B.B. Bell, got a waiver from the Army to help relieve family financial burdens. Most soldiers assigned to the Wiesbaden-based 1st Armored Division returned recently from 15 months in the Middle East. Soldiers under V Corps, based in Heidelberg, returned earlier this year. The Würzburg-based 1st Infantry Division currently is deployed to Iraq.

Bell requested and received a waiver from the vice chief of staff of the Army. USAREUR is offsetting the difference by diverting $2.8 million to subsidize the increase for the Installation Management Agency-Europe Region CYS program, according to a CYS news release.

CYS fees include myriad programs from child-care to youth sports, said Sonia Bonet, child and youth services chief for Installation Management Agency-Europe.

For example, full-day care at USAREUR Child Development Center for families in Category 1 (gross incomes between $0 and $28,000) is $190 a month, or $47.50 a week. That fee will remain the same for families in Europe, while rising 3 percent for families outside Europe.

The fee structure will be reviewed for the 2005/2006 school year, said Millie Waters, a USAREUR spokeswoman.


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