Below all of the questions and answers from the town hall, you will find the USAREC Family Programs video that was referenced during the hangout. Please let us know what you think of both the hangout and the Family Programs video, we would greatly appreciate your feedback. Thanks!
Additional Questions & Answers
Several things can be done; you can use the USAREC BDE SFA Interactive Customer Evaluation (ICE) to submit your concerns, and the SFA must answer all ICS submissions within 48 hours. You can contact SFAB at HQ USAREC 502-626-0735, or you can use the CG hotline to submit a concern
Based on the budget cuts impacting the Army on all levels, what will be the future for family programs and services be?
Based on the establishment of many 1-N priority lists that were vetted with commands over the last couple of years, the ACSIM and IMCOM established the attached Bin Chart showing program priorities. The CSA approved the chart. It is anticipated that at some point these priorities may be used to determine which programs to fund/staff given reduced resources and that senior and garrison commanders could, use this as a tool based upon the needs assessment in their AOR. For example garrison priorities may be different than USAREC.
Is it possible to base the childcare costs on the more immediate area in which the family resides, rather than the "nearest" Army post? Can we use the nearest military post?
The Military Child Care Act of 1989, codified in Section 568 of the NDAA for 1996, requires DoD to establish DoD-wide Child Care Fees based on Total Family Income (TFI). The Congressional intent is for Families to pay a share of their work-related child care expenses and DoD to provide fee assistance to lower the cost of care for all Families.
The DoD SY13-14 Child and Youth Fee Policy continue the DoD transition of all Military Services to standard child care fees for each TFI category. Completion is expected by SY15-16. As per the SY13-14 Fee Policy, all Garrisons are placed into either a STANDARD Cost Fee Structure or a HIGH Cost Fee Structure (see attached).
By law, military child care fees are based on TFI, not military rank or civilian grade. The Military Services subsidize fees on a sliding scale for every Family regardless of rank/grade or income.
What is Army Fee Assistance?
It is the Army's contribution toward the total cost of child care for Army Families. In on post programs, Army Fee Assistance supplements Parent Fees to cover the actual cost of care.
In Community Based programs (OMCC & MCCYN), Army Fee Assistance buys down the higher cost of off post care allowing eligible Families to pay parent fees based on those charged at Army installations and to pay fees generally comparable to those charged at the nearest Army installation.
Fees for Families using OMCC and MCCYN programs are based on TFI, hours of work/school attendance, child care requirements, geographic location, OMCC/MCCYN provider rates, and parent fees at the nearest Army or Army supported Joint Base installation.
Supporting documents are collected by Army Fee Assistance Administrators who calculate both the parent fee and the amount of Fee Assistance. Parents and OMCC/MCCYN providers receive written notification from Army Fee Assistance Administrators informing them of the amount of the parent fee, Fee Assistance amount to be paid to the provider, and the effective dates for each child to receive Fee Assistance.
Parent fees are higher than the installation fees when OMCC or MCCYN provider rates exceed the local market rate (what is reasonable for the local area) due to Army limits on Fee Assistance.
How are child care fees determined?
DoD established nine TFI Categories and fees/fee ranges for each category. Parent fees are based on their TFI Category.
Fee reductions/discounts available to non-military children by OMCC and MCCYN providers, e.g., early payment discounts, Multiple Child Reductions (MCRs), vacation credits, are also available to military children. All available provider reductions/discounts must be included before any additional Fee Assistance is calculated.
Is it possible for USAREC to provide a list of FRG fundraisers that are legal and USAREC-specific?
Yes, many of the BN SFAs have created BN FRG guidance. USAREC has also disseminated a FRG Company Commander's guide for FRG operations. USAREC SFAB will have the BN SFAs submit suggestions and we will compile all Fundraising ideas into one file and submit them through the BN SFAs to FRG Leaders. NOTE: Fundraising is needed to allow FRGs to provide food for their unofficial functions. It allows them to purchase farewell gifts for members PCSing, and baby gifts for members with newborns. Fundraising is not the sole purpose of FRGs, however, it enhances overall FRG support. Also, all members must vote on what FRG informal funds can be used for.
Where and how can a spouse get resources if there is no active Bn FRG in place?
Only FRGs are authorized to fundraise in accordance with AR 608-1, Appendix J. FRGs must follow all regulatory guidance to fund raise and the FRG Volunteers must follow all AR 608.1 Appendix J guidance tob e allocated FRG authorized appropriated funds or reimbursement of incidental costs as a sanctioned and official volunteer.
Will the marriage retreat schedules ever be released with more details and in advance to accommodate families better?
The RCTG BDE UMTs are able to release details such as hotel address, childcare availability, trainer, menu items, and conference room accommodation as soon as a contract is set which usually happens at the beginning of each new quarter in the fiscal year. Since the OCCHs validates these events on a quarterly basis, no change is expected to the process at this time. Every unit validates their Strong Bond event request during the previous quarter. The Office of the Chief of Chaplains approves or disapproves the SB events about 1-2 weeks prior to each new quarter and all units get that information. At that time the RCTG BDE UMTs start working with PSA contractors to secure a central location for the unit to host a SB event, and with the battalion personnel and the BN SFA to get a SB registration list. UMTs usually have their unit registration list complete 2 weeks prior to an event. UMTs can communicate the event type (Singles, Married & Family), the hotel address and website link, childcare availability, menu items, the training agenda, and who the trainer will be after the contract is set. Please let the RCTG BDE UMT know when a Soldier or spouse requests additional details. They will gladly accommodate.
Why when preparing the budget for the fiscal yr child care for ATC isn't included? If it is why don't we have it?
Child Care cannot be paid for with appropriated funds. Policy is Soldiers and Families are responsible for paying their own child care costs for such military specific events. In 2010, and prior, USAREC was allowing child care to be paid using the Self Sufficiency Exemption (SSE) Non Appropriated Funds, provided to USAREC specifically for volunteer programs. IMCOM stated USAREC needed to stop this practice because it was in violation of financial management regulations and was unauthorized per regulation. USAREC spouse working group created an ATC guide which includes options for providing child care at ATCs. All SFAs can provide a copy of the ATC guide to their Family members.
Why aren't all battalions doing the same thing? ATCs are different for example: We haven't had one that includes families in 3 year? And to piggy back on the ATC: Why aren't they planned better. We've had our cancelled then rescheduled. It was my understanding the training schedule should be a month in advance. Annual Training Conferences are programmed to allow the Commander to provide training and information annually and in person to his/her Soldiers. Based on this need, it is up to the BN Commander how he formats his ATC. This is why not every Command can be alike, the agenda is based on the Cdrs needs for his Soldiers. SFAB encourages Commanders to hold Spouse trainings at ATCs; however, in some cases the cost is difficult for some Families to pay for child care, etc Spouses can stay in the hotel room with their Soldier and ride in the POV with their Soldiers; however, last round of ATCs, some commands had their POVs full of Soldiers going to ATCS, to cut down on mileage costs.
As stated in the 1st BDE answer reference ATCS: ATCs are subject to receiving a conference approval from TRADOC. This could cause delays in planning the ATCs. Would need specifics from the individual commands on why their ATCs we’re delayed to truly evaluate the reasons and a fix. I do know some approvals from TRADOC were received very late during this last year’s round of ATCs, and no actions can be taken by the Command to coordinate for travel, etc, until the CDR receives the approval thru G3 channels.
family Programs Video
This video provides an overview of the family programs and services within
USAREC, to ensure our newcomers know there is quality of life (QOL) support within the geo-dispersed locations where they live and work. I encourage all of you to share the link with friends, co-workers, FRGs, and commanders, and encourage all of them to share this information with their newly assigned Soldiers and families. Encourage them to reach out to their battalion SFA and to access the Family Strong Resource Guide on the USAREC SFAB website link: http://www.usarec.army.mil/hq/hrd/sfa/index.shtml.
Together, we can ensure all of our newly assigned recruiters and their families have the quality of life tools, resource information and support they need to remain strong and even thrive as they embark on an exciting and rewarding assignment within USAREC. Thank you!