CDC Space Census Ground Rules
There are five Ground Rules based on Army Policy for the CDC Space Census.
The ground rules are as follows:
Ground Rule 1: Total installation CDC spaces must include full-day spaces for infants 6 weeks-12 months:
Total installation CDC spaces must include full-day spaces for infants 6 weeks-12 months.
Although there may be a part-day preschool or hourly CDC that does not have full-day infant spaces, every CDC that serves full-day children should have infants in it.
The Army knows that caring for infants is more expensive and labor intensive than for older children. That’s why, when funding by child space, there are many more dollars attached to an infant space than any other.
Ground Rule 2: Ages of children in modules/rooms should span at least 18 months.
The following table contains some do’s and don’ts of multi-age grouping.
|Can Do||Can’t Do|
|6 weeks-18 months
18 months-3 years
Older Toddler-Younger Preschool
|There is no such thing as a “Pre-toddler Module”
“3-Year Old Module”
|Each room in a module may be multi-age.||You cannot have all 8 infants on one side and all 10 pre-toddlers on the other side of a module.|
Ground Rule 3: The prescribed ratios in AR 608-10 are Army policy.
In a child development center, children are assigned to a primary caregiver. This primary caregiver and the corresponding number of children are called a “Ratio Cluster.” ArmyChild & Youth Services has specific requirements as to the number of children of specific ages that can be in one ratio cluster, as shown in the following chart.
|1 RATIO CLUSTER = 1 CYPA and:|
|Two ratio clusters make up a Group Size (and occupies one Room of a standard design Module). Two Groups make up a Standard Design Module.|
Ground Rule 4: With very limited exceptions, all spaces intended for child use within a CDC must be used for that purpose
- With very limited exceptions, all spaces intended for child use within a CDC must be used for that purpose.
- If part of the module is somehow blocked off (such as the motor/music room), it must be unblocked.
- Specifically, in the case of motor/music rooms, the space must be used routinely throughout the day and for more than just nap time or on rainy days.
- If a module has been turned into an office space or training room, it must be returned to a module.
- If you still have school-age children in your CDC, find another place for them!
- If rooms have been closed due to lack of staff, these spaces are still included on the Adjusted Design Capacity Worksheet. If you never mention that empty module at all, no one is going to realize how important it is for you to get staff for it!
- If the room was closed because the “heating doesn’t work” or “the window is broken” or the “fire alarm doesn’t work,” fix it.
Exceptions: In situations where you will never need the space again (at least not in your lifetime) and when approved by your Region in writing, you may decrease child space if:
- Your installation is closing.
- Your installation downsized.
- You have documented evidence that no one in your community needs your services, otherwise known as your Region Validated Installation Child, Youth and School Operations Plan (ICOP).
- You do not need the space for younger children and that’s why the School-Agers are still there.
- The repair costs to make a room usable again are too high (e.g., the new Air Conditioning will cost more than the original building).
- There are other contingencies not previously thought of, with agreement from your Region.
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.
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!
Applying Ground Rules for CDC Space Census: Practical Exercise
Your installation has just opened a new CDC, and you are meeting with the team who is conducting the CDC Space Census. But some of the staff don’t agree with how the spaces in the CDC have been allocated. They are taking this opportunity to voice their concerns. Below are some possible responses for those concerns:
Multi-age groupings can’t be successful”
Multi-age groupings have been a success story in most locations! Parents report that they see the benefits of having their child with the same adult for a longer period of time, and staff are learning how to manage the environment for a larger age range of children.
Parents don’t want their young children mixed with the older ones, or their older children mixed with the younger ones! The younger infants.children will be hurt by the older infants/children.
Many studies show mixing ages of children is beneficial to all concerned. We have TACS to train the staff to work with mixed age groupings of children.
“What’s wrong with separate age groupings, or having within the module, one separate room for infants and one for pre-toddlers?”
Keeping children with the same primary caregiver for 18 months is a real advantage. It’s a lot better than forcing children to have at least 9 different caregivers as they move up age-levels.
“Aren’t we violating the NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) maximum group size by putting 5 pretoddlers with 4 infants in each room?”
An infant/pretoddler module has 3 components: 2 “home bases” and a Shared Space. If you are using the room identified as the “shared space” like you should be, then infants/pretoddlers are NEVER in a whole “maximum group size” EVER.