Child, Youth and School Services sponsors a Family Child Care amnesty program each year, allowing people who provide unauthorized child care to register with the Family Child Care program without penalty.
The amnesty period this year runs from Nov. 26 to Dec. 31. Occasional child care between friends and neighbors is not regulated by the Department of the Army or garrison policy.
Regular care, however, is governed by Army Regulation 608-10. According to the regulation, unauthorized child care is caring for a child in government quarters other than the child’s home for more than 10 child care hours a week on a regular basis.
A neighbor who cares for a child less than ten hours a week on a consistent basis or temporarily in excess of 10 hours, such as for a temporary duty, overnight or a weekend, is not violating the regulation.
The same holds true for a child who receives care from a babysitter or nanny in the child’s home. Such care is considered unauthorized, though, when that same person provides care to any children other than the occupants of the apartment for more than ten hours a week on a consistent basis.
CYS Services does not assume the non-certified caregiver is providing bad care; however, child care provided on an installation that exceeds the “10 hours rule” must be approved by the garrison commander to avoid legal recourse. Consequences to the sponsor of the non-certified care giver may include termination of government quarters, financial liability for a child’s injury or death, as well as German and U.S. tax liability.
Any caregiver who contacts FCC during the amnesty period may be allowed to continue caring for the children while actively completing the certification process. The certification process includes registration of the caregiver and all children under care, an inspection of quarters by fire, safety and preventive medicine, background checks and valuable training. The certification process is free to qualified applicants.
Certified FCC providers receive financial benefits such as tax-free income, eligibility for no-cost liability insurance and partial reimbursement for start-up costs and food.
A certified provider also has access to equipment and resource materials through the FCC lending library. Professional benefits include on-going training and assistance from the FCC staff who are dedicated to helping each FCC provider succeed.
An additional benefit is that being a FCC provider is a career that transfers with few additional requirements from post to post.
If you are caring for children in quarters other than their home for more than 10 hours a week on a regular basis, take advantage of the amnesty period. Become a Family Child Care professional and receive the benefits and recognition for the valuable service you provide.