As the leadership of the Military District of Washington assesses the pandemic infection rates and its resulting risk, Belvoir is preparing to gradually expand operations on the installation. One of the key factors in a successful, phased re-opening is families securing child care, according to Janet Evans, chief, Child and Youth Services.

“Child and Youth Services recognizes the challenges of our Soldiers and their Families. By offering quality programs for children, youth and students, CYS supports the Army Family by reducing the conflict between mission readiness and parental responsibility,” Evans said.

Entering phase one, Evans said CYS will only be able to provide limited child care services for a significantly reduced population of families. The services will be based on COVID-19 directives to keep all classrooms at half capacity and operating with limited staffing, until conditions improve and are otherwise directed to increase capacity.

Col. Michael Greenberg, Belvoir Garrison commander, will be issuing a COVID-19 Patron Priorities for Care in the coming weeks, once CYS staffers are directed to begin reporting back to work.

According to Evans, these priorities are, civilian and military, commander-designated emergency essential; commander-designated military mission essential (designation must be for both sponsor and spouse), before normal priorities being reinstated at a later date.

“With this in mind, CYS would like to provide some additional resources for child care and subsidies that can be found based on home residence within the family’s own county,” said Evans, noting that families are encouraged to continue to make other alternate child care arrangements for the coming weeks.

“Some alternate child care services and fee-assistance options include registering with Child Care Aware of America. Families can learn more by selecting their military branch and completing a child care resource and referral to search for options close to home or work,” she said.

In addition to CCAoA, Families can search for other child care options in their own counties. Many counties also have information about how to apply for state and county subsidy programs, based on household income.