President Trump’s federal hiring freeze is forcing at least two U.S. Army bases to indefinitely suspend prekindergarten and other programs for young children.
Military.com reported that officials at Fort Knox in Kentucky and at the U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden in Germany have said they cannot now operate programs designed to help families with young children because of the hiring freeze, which Trump instituted last month with a presidential memorandum.
Although the memorandum includes exemptions for the military as well as public safety and national security, the bases still said they did not have enough personnel to continue the programs.
Officials at Fort Knox, Kentucky, notified families Feb. 17 of the suspension to the on-base part-day child development center (CDC) programs, its hourly care program and the enrollment of new families into the CDC.
“Effective immediately, no new children will be enrolled in the CDC,” states the letter, signed by Fort Knox garrison commander Col. Stephen Aiton. “Also, effective 27 February 2017, the CDC will no longer accommodate childcare for our hourly care and part day families until further notice.”
The CDC’s part-day programs include its part-day preschools. Many military families, including some CDC workers, rely on hourly care for child care during part-time jobs or school hours, or when the full-time day care program is full. One Army spouse at Fort Knox reported that the wait list for her 1-year-old is estimated through July.
The U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden in Germany sent out a letter Wednesday signed by Todd J. Fish, a colonel who commands the base, explaining its program suspension.
— David Beard (@dabeard) February 22, 2017
Military.com also reported:
As of Jan. 17, the Army’s Child and Youth Services program had 12,000 positions systemwide with 2,657 vacancies, according to Army Installation Management Command (IMCOM) officials. The Army child development center program has historically had problems keeping positions filled due to high turnover and a sluggish background check system through which all workers must be vetted.