Frequently Asked Questions about CYSS Child Development Services

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    Could you tell me about home and center-based care?

    Family Child Care: FCC certifies and monitors military family members who wish to have a day care business in their Fort Meade home. Providers must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or GED. A monthly briefing is held for anyone interested in becoming a certified provider. Orientation training is held six times during the year. For more information, please visit the Army FCC's website. All of our providers must complete national and local background checks. Providers must complete a thorough orientation training including first aid, CPR, child abuse prevention and FCC training modules. All of our FCC Homes are Department of Defense certified and several have achieved national accreditation through the National Association for Family Child Care. Providers earn their child development associate as well. FCC uses creative curriculum. FCC homes offer full day, part day, hourly and extended hours. Please check with Parent Central Services for specific hours of availability.

    Child Development Centers: The Centers offer full day, part day, hourly care and the Strong Beginnings Pre-K program. All staff must complete national and local background checks and required training in first aid, CPR, child abuse prevention and the Army child development training modules to reach their target level pay grade. Staff is able to earn their child development associate. All of our Child Development Centers are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and are Department of Defense certified


    Who supervises the Child Development Centers at Fort Meade and how do I contact them?

    Child Administrator: Oversees all Child Development Centers at Fort Meade. 301-677-4808, 4216 Roberts Avenue

    Director, Family Child Care: 301-677-1160, 1900 Reece Road

    Director, Child Development Center I: 301-677-5201, 4725 Ruffner Road

    Director, Child Development Center II: 301-677-6002, 3100 MacArthur Road

    Director, Child Development Center II: 301-677-1530, 910 Ernie Pyle Road


    What curriculum is used by Child Development Services at Fort Meade?

    Army curriculum is a combination of Developmentally Appropriate Practices and Creative Curriculum. Developmentally Appropriate Practices is a child centered, child-initiated and teacher supported program.

    The Creative Curriculum program allows for meaningful and long lasting learning involving active thinking and experimenting finding out how things work. This is best accomplished through purposeful play facilitated by highly intentional teaching practices. Both practices require each child to have a primary caregiver, who observes and documents the child's interests, strengths and abilities, and builds the curriculum around that. Observations allow us to offer and individualized program that will support school readiness for children by expanding their play into learning experiences.


    What is the Strong Beginnings Program?

    The Army's Strong Beginnings Pre-K is a program designed to prepare children to be successful to enter school. Curriculum focuses on the social, emotional and physical development of children; equips them with basic academic and "Kindergarten Classroom Etiquette" skills to enhance "school readiness."

    Eligibility includes: Children who will be entering Kindergarten in August 2012; 4 years old by August 31; CYS Services membership required; and cost based on total family income in accordance with DoD Fee Policy.

    The full day program meets Mondays through Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. There is one classroom for the full day program in CDC I, II and III.
    The new part day program will meet Monday through Friday in the afternoons at CDC III.
    There is currently a waiting list for Strong Beginnings. So, please register your child as soon as possible for the program.


    What policies do you have in place that is specific to infant care?

    Infant formula (Enfamil with Iron) is provided by the program under USDA guidelines.

    A waiver is signed if parents prefer to bring in their own formula or breast milk. If patron brings formula for their infant the center can only accept plastic bottles with lids and the exact amount for each feeding. These bottles must be labeled with the child's first and last name, date and contents of the bottle. Empty bottles to be filled at the CDC with program formula must also be labeled.

    Infants will be held for all feedings.

    When infants transition to strained baby food and cereal, they will be held or placed in an appropriate sitting device to be fed. Bottles will not be propped for self-feeding.

    Only disposable diapers are permitted in the programs. Wet and soiled clothing will not be laundered, but will be stored separately from clean clothing until it can be given to parents.

    In order to reduce the potential for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, infants from birth to 12 months will be placed on their backs in required sleep sacks to sleep while in care. If the child is under six months and rolls on their stomach, the caregiver will place the child back on their back.

    Infants from six months to one year who begin turning over on their own can assume their own sleep position.

    Infants from birth to 12 months who have existing specific disorders will be positioned for sleeping per their physician's written instruction.

    All patrons will sign a SIDS form.

    During waking periods, infants will be out of the crib and participating in various stimulating activities.

    Each infant will be kept on his or her own feeding and sleep schedule. Parents and staff members will discuss the process for infants transitioning from bottle formula to milk or from baby food to table food in advance and develop a successful plan for the infant. Parents and caregivers will develop a feeding plan when the child is introduced to different foods.

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