Lesson 2 — Compensatory Space Capacity


The CDC Space Census voyage is about to end. We are pulling into the final space station — Compensatory Space Capacity. Here, you will learn the best and most efficient use of spaces in your CDC.

At the end of this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Explain Compensatory Space Capacity.
  • Describe Compensatory Enrollment and its importance.
  • Identify the personnel and materials needed to determine Compensatory Space Capacity.
  • Determine Compensatory Space Capacity and complete Worksheet 4.
Procedure 4

Procedure 4

Compensatory Space Capacity

“It is so hard to work with my budget! It seems there is never enough money! I heard there is something called Compensatory Enrollment that might help me serve more Army families and help my bottom line.”

After determining Operational Capacity, you must calculate your Compensatory Space Capacity — the creation of additional spaces without additional funding. It is the best way to create “efficiencies” in a CDC program.

Because we exist to support the Army’s mission by providing child care so that parents can go work, we must:

  • Maintain a high level of quality.
  • Serve the most number of families within our capabilities.
Training Tip
Before landing at the final space station, Pamela, our virtual Director, visited the CDC “Director’s Forum” on the CYS Web page at www.armycysconnections.com. She became involved in an ongoing dialog about Compensatory Enrollment, which helped her navigate this final stage in her odyssey.

Compensatory Enrollment

Compensatory Space Capacity reflects Compensatory Enrollment.

Compensatory Enrollment is an Army policy to enroll additional children to make up for absenteeism. Generally, it is 10% unless there is documented evidence of a higher or lower absentee rate.

To completely understand Compensatory Enrollment, select each link to learn more:

Ground Rule 5
To maximize the opportunities for families to use our services, it is Army policy to enroll children to make up for absenteeism.

  • Every day, we know children are absent due to illness, vacation, etc. This means there are vacant spaces in every module, every day.
  • Programs may enroll up to 10% over the Operational Capacity of the Entire CDC.
  • Each module’s individual compensatory enrollment is generally 10% unless there is documented evidence of a higher or lower absentee rate.
  • Compensatory enrollment only applies to those programs that have paid enrollments. There is no such thing as compensatory enrollment in hourly programs. It is never OK to be over ratio in an hourly program!
Compensatory Enrollment and Ratios
Child and Youth Program Assistants (CYPAs) may be concerned that there are too many children enrolled in their rooms. Won’t 33 children make a 30-capacity part-day preschool room over capacity and over ratio? And what about the times when everybody shows up?

  • Prescribed ratios are Army policy, and using Compensatory Space Capacity does not change ratios.
  • You should not be continually over ratio through the practice of Compensatory Enrollment. You should be at ratio.
  • If everybody shows up, it is OK to be temporarily over-ratio (no more than twice per week for an hour or less).
  • More than “temporarily” means you have over-enrolled the module and must correct this situation.
Compensatory Enrollment and Impact on Quality
Another concern is that trying to squeeze too many children in those rooms will impact quality!

  • Implementation of the Army policy has not negatively impacted the quality of programs offered to Soldiers and their families.
  • This type of policy is wide-spread in the civilian world.
  • In our case, these children are not coming and going all hours of the day, but are a regular part of the program.
  • By implementing this policy, you can decrease your immediate care waiting list by up to 10% without cost.
  • Remember that the intent is not to see how many children fit in a module, but rather to maximize space that would otherwise remain empty.

Compensatory Space Capacity — Personnel and Materials

“It looks like Compensatory Enrollment will help me serve more Army families. How do I determine which modules and how many children?”

To determine Compensatory Space Capacity, you will need the following personnel and materials:

Select each link to learn more.

  • Child Development Services (CDS) Director
  • Training and Curriculum Specialist (TACS)
  • CYPAs as needed
Materials and Forms
  • Completed Census Worksheet 1-B for the entire facility
  • Completed Census Worksheet 2-A
  • Completed Census Worksheet 2-B
  • Completed Census Worksheet 3
  • Blank copy of Census Worksheet 4
  • Daily Sign-in Logs for the last 6 months

Procedure 4: Compensatory Space Capacity

Now that you’ve gathered your team (CYPAs and TACS) and all the necessary materials, you are ready to complete Procedure 4 to determine Compensatory Space Capacity.

There are two key steps in determining Compensatory Space Capacity:

  • Step A: Review Daily Sign-In Logs
  • Step B: Complete Worksheet 4

Step A: Review Daily Sign-in Logs

The first step is to review the Daily Sign-In Logs for the last six-month period to determine the average absenteeism for each module.

This average is the basis for determining Compensatory Enrollment for each module.

An example of data gathered from the Daily Sign-In Logs at Fort Wonderful is shown in the image on the left.

Daily Average Absenteeism

Daily Average Absenteeism

Step B: Complete Worksheet 4

After you have reviewed your Daily Sign-In Logs, you are ready for Step B: Complete Worksheet 4 — Compensatory Space Capacity. But first, here are some important things to keep in mind:

  • Each center must do compensatory enrollment, which is generally 10%.
  • If the actual absentee rates in modules are higher or lower than the general 10%, adjust each module’s total accordingly.
  • If your calculations end up with a fraction of a child (e.g., 1.8 children), always round down.
  • You will need to regularly monitor your Compensatory Enrollment to ensure that you are meeting requirements.

Click here to  see a demonstration of how to complete Worksheet 4.


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File Name (/)Type
Procedure 4 (September 24, 2019) jpeg (25 Kb)
Daily Average Absenteeism (September 24, 2019) gif (18 Kb)