Sometimes it helps us more clearly understand where we are headed if we understand the journey that brought us to where we are now. Learning details about the design and development of the Child and Youth Services (CYS) Space Census will identify the factors that require CYS programs to be efficient. These details can also show how the Productivity, Cost Management, and Accountability tools work together to achieve this goal by improving the way programs are funded.
This lesson will provide some answers to your question, “How in the world did we get here?” At the end of this lesson, you will be able to:
- Identify the major drivers that led to the development of the CYS Space Census.
- Identify how the CYS Space Census is connected to the CYS mechanisms for productivity, cost management, and accountability.
- Compare program funding before and after using funding by space.
Space Census Drivers
Child, Youth and School Program budgets are a mix of appropriated (APF) and nonappropriated (NAF) funds. Appropriated funds are tax payer dollars appropriated by Congress each year. Nonappropriated funds are dollars generated from your fees and services. Under Uniform Funding and Management (UFM), APF is changed into NAF before it reaches the installation. Be assured that APF still exists and CYS programs must still account for income and expenses generated by patron fees and funding received from the Army. All CYS managers must be good stewards of their funds and operate their programs efficiently and cost effectively while maintaining quality in order to meet standards and benchmarks.
In recent years, there has been increasing emphasis on fiscal responsibility in all Government organizations.
CYS Meets the Intent of the Circular A-76 Requirement
The A-76 process is meant to ensure that the operation of services, whether operated by commercial or Government sources, remains high-quality and cost-effective. CYS already operates as the “Most Efficient Organization” by virtue of its demonstrated quality and efficiency. Therefore, CYS remains an Army-operated program. Two examples of CYS’ demonstrated quality and efficiency are its designation as a “model for the Nation” and its use of productivity, cost management, and accountability tools.
“Model for National Child Care Reform” Designation
In 1996, Congress and the White House recognized the military child-care system as
a “model for the Nation.” Six unique features of CYSS that contributed to its designation include:
- Systemic approach.
- Standards, inspections.
- Competency-based training.
- Adequate funding.
- Salaries and benefits.
- National accreditation.
CYS has mechanisms/tools in development that support productivity, cost management, and accountability (PCMA). Continued use of these tools — including the Space Census — is needed in order to continue providing quality and efficiency. These tools include:
- Staffing Template.
- Cost per Child/Youth Space.
- Revised Position Descriptions.
- Revised CYS Baseline Standards.
- CYS Planning and Operating Metrics.
- Space Accountability Tool.
- CYS Space Census.
Information about each of these mechanisms/tools is available in the
The CYSS Space Census is an important step and a key component in several of the PCMA mechanisms. So how does the Space Census work with these other tools? Let’s make that connection by examining some of the tools in this kit.
Cost per Child/Youth Space
To efficiently manage a CYSS program, the manager has to know the cost to deliver care per unit. The CYSS Space Census provides information needed in determining the cost per child. The CYSS Space Census will:
- Provide a “real time” count of child spaces.
- Assist the Army in meeting the Child Space Allocation from DoD.
- Test the validity of CYS metrics.
- Ensure maximum use of existing facilities and program options.
CYSS Staffing Template
The Staffing Template is linked to Child/Youth spaces, facilities, participation counts, and contacts. It provides incentive-based staffing, management, support, and specialist staff, and dedicated and shared staff. A weighted point system determines full-time employee numbers, and the size of the CYS programs determines the size of the CYS System.
DoD Child-Care Goal
The Space Census is the vehicle for determining each installation’s allocation of child spaces that make up the Army’s share of the 65% and 80% DoD child-care goal. Note: The 65% and 80% are Army metrics, not installation metrics.
Space Accountability Tool
The Space Accountability Tool is an annual report that determines how many spaces your installation produced compared to how many spaces were funded.
Funding by Space — Before and After Space Census
Funding Before Space Census
Before Funding By Space, funding was based on a very basic formula:
Cost or number of staff + Cost of supplies + Operating expenses = Funding
Unfortunately, this formula may not accurately capture actual funding needs, which
could result in insufficient funding.
Funding Using Space Census
After implementing Funding by Space, funding is largely determined by a much more realistic, accurate, and comprehensive formula:
Cost of caring for or providing service for a child or youth x Number actually served, based on legitimate need = Funding
Less than the appropriate number of children produces less funding.
And if the budget is cut, spaces are cut (NOT line items such as training or supplies).
FUNDING BY SPACE
Funding by space means you look at what it costs to care for each child or youth. For example, the cost of a Preschooler includes part of the Director’s cost, part of a TACS’ cost, art of food costs, part of supply costs, part of training costs, part of CYPA costs, etc. So that means the consequences of not having funding for these things isn’t “There went my raining budget,” but rather, “We have money to serve 4 fewer INFANTS than we could before.”
Now while you might think, “Gee, this sounds really great – I will be fully funded for those things I REALLY need!” – you also need to understand consequences. For example, if your CDC is NOT at capacity child-wise, but is FULLY STAFFED CYPAwise, – well, you might find that “funding by space” also means you won’t be able to afford those “extra” people who are not fully employed! So “Funding by Space” really means we are asking you to be accountable for spending money efficiently and wisely. We are no longer going to “lop off” a line item from the budget, because doing so impacts on the overall quality and efficiency of running our programs. You will be fully funded for whatever spaces you provide. If the money decreases, the spaces you provide decrease.
Bottom Line: Instead of saying “Oops. Our budget has been cut. Oh well, we can do without crayons for the next 8 months.” You say, “Oops. Our budget has been cut. That means we will have to close one of the infant/pre-toddler rooms because we are not going to sacrifice the quality of this program by stretching our funds beyond their intended limit.