Please review our list of frequently asked questions for the latest CYS COVID-related information and school support during this time. If your question isn't covered, please reach out to your child's center manager for COVID questions. For registration, call Parent Central at 253-966-2977; for school support, call 253-967-7195.
I'm waiting for my COVID-19 test result. Can my child attend CYS?
No, your child may not attend CYS if a member of your household is waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test.
I was exposed to COVID-19, can my child attend CYS?
No, your child may not attend CYS if a member of your household was exposed to COVID-19. If the person who was exposed receives a negative test result for COVID-19 and does not develop symptoms of COVID-19, your child may return to care following current CYS Exclusion and Readmission guidelines.
I have symptoms, but was not exposed to COVID-19. Can my child attend CYS?
No, your child may not attend CYS if a member of your household is symptomatic of COVID-19. If the person who is symptomatic receives a negative test result for COVID-19, your child may return to care following current CYS Exclusion and Readmission guidelines.
Can my child attend CYS if they are unable to attend school due to illness?
No, if your child is not able to attend school due to illness, they are not able to attend CYS.
Who do I contact at CYS if my child cannot attend school due to COVID-19?
Please contact your child’s facility directly to communicate if your child is unable to attend school due to COVID-19.
How long does my child have to stay home if symptomatic of COVID-19?
Your child must stay home from CYS for 10 days from the start of symptoms. They must also be fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medications and symptoms must have improved in order to return to care. Please contact your child’s teacher or school principal for readmission criteria specific to your child’s school.
Are masks required at school?
Yes, masks are required for all children 2 years and older at CYS and for all children attending Clover Park School District.
If I am required to ROM after traveling outside of Washington state, can my child attend CYS and school?
If your child did not travel with you, CYS does not require your child to ROM. However, the persons who did travel may not drop off or pick up your child. If your child did travel with you, they are not permitted to return to care until the ROM time period has ended. Please contact your child’s teacher or principal for ROM guidelines for their school.
Are COVID-19 vaccinations required for my child to attend CYS?
No, at this time COVID-19 vaccinations are not required for children to attend CYS. All COVID-19 vaccines are currently available under an Emergency Use Authorization and are voluntary. CYS follows the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for immunization. The COVID-19 vaccine will not be required by CYS until it is approved by the FDA and included in the CDC recommended vaccine schedule.
Can I receive credit for childcare if I am required to ROM?
No, if you are required to ROM for voluntary travel, a childcare credit will not be issued. If you are required to ROM for official travel, please contact your child's facility manager for further guidance related to childcare credits.
I just moved to JBLM. How do I register with CYS?
If you need childcare, the first step is to sign up on the waitlist at militarychildcare.com and request care at all JBLM sites. Parents must reconfirm their space on the waitlist every 30 days. If you only need hourly care (not currently offered) or youth sports, you may skip this step. Next, contact Parent Central Services for a CYS registration appointment. Go to your appointment prepared with this registration checklist. Due to the current COVID climate, there is a 60-day extension on health assessments. For more information on this and other requirements specific to your situation, please contact Parent Central Services.
What are my childcare options if CYS can't provide spaces for my school-age children?
Patrons are encouraged to find off-base childcare options. Go to the Child Care Aware of America website and find an alternative childcare provider. Additionally, you can check out the new resource available through militaryonesource.mil. This is a new program the Department of Defense is providing for Active Duty Service Members, allowing families to find, hire and pay for hourly, flexible and on-demand care. The benefit is the free monthly subscription to a national online service to search for care. This new service is not available to DOD civilians. If required, CYS will provide a statement of non-availability for CCAoA care to begin the process for the fee assistance. Patrons should contact CCAoA regarding subsidy information, as the availability varies by service. Additionally, school districts are partnering with local organization such as Boys and Girls Club, YMCA Care and Right At School. Please contact your assigned school to inquire about options in your neighborhood.
Can I leave my children home alone?
Please refer to the Home Alone Policy for information.
What if they have an older sibling watching them?
Please refer to the Home Alone Policy for information. Additionally, consider signing up your teens for a Red Cross-certified babysitting course at Hillside Youth Center. Call +1(253)967-4441 for signup and requirements.
Can I watch my neighbor's kids while they work?
There are strict regulations over childcare on base to ensure safety. If you're regularly providing childcare in your home (more than 10 hours a week), you must be registered with Family Child Care as an authorized provider. This is required whether or not you're being paid for childcare. Unauthorized childcare providers are at risk of losing government quarters. We encourage you to join the nine JBLM households registered with Family Child Care and become a provider! As an authorized FCC provider, you'll receive paid training, subsidies and earn up to $2,000 per month. For more information on starting your work-from-home career that moves with you, attend the Aug. 18 Family Child Care Provider Orientation from 6-8 p.m. in the MWR HQ (2013-B N. 3rd St., room 233). Learn more by calling +1(253)967-3039 (sign up is not required). New FCC providers may qualify for a $1,000 signing bonus to be paid in installations. If you're an FCC provider who just moved to JBLM, you may eligible for a $1,000 retention bonus after setting up your FCC home here at JBLM.
My children are enrolled at a School Age Center and will need help with their schoolwork during the day. What is CYS doing to support their education?
Educating children is the responsibility of the school district; however, during these unprecedented times, CYS will partner with you and your child to ensure that your child's continued education is facilitated in a safe and healthy environment conducive to learning. The childcare teams at the SACs are preparing to assist students with remote learning. CYS staffers will do their best to facilitate your child's learning log-in (at the right time) and technical support; however, they will not be able to provide each child with individualized learning support. Each staff member is responsible for 10 children and will be trying to get each logged on to the right site at the right time.
Where does my child attend school?
Your child(ren) will attend schools in the district in which they are zoned. This is a boundary state, so the address you select has a school and school district associated with it. On-base schools are part of Clover Park School District. There are six elementary schools on JBLM. There are links to all of the school districts (approximately 20) in the communities surrounding Joint Base Lewis-McChord in the "Finding Your School" section here. Only about 20% of JBLM families are able to get on-base housing and attend on-base schools.
- If you live on McChord Field, your elementary school is Carter Lake, you will attend Thomas Middle School and your high school is Clover Park High School.
- If you live on Lewis Main, your school is designated by where you live. You must check the address on your housing contract (Welcome Home), go to the district website http://apps.schoolsitelocator.com/index.html?districtCode=49275 and type in your address. You will receive the school name, address and phone number. Elementary schools are based on housing areas, the middle school is Thomas Middle School. Lakes High School is the designated high school for all of Lewis Main and Lewis North areas.
- If you live on Lewis North, in Beachwood, Eagle View or Meriwether areas, visit http://apps.schoolsitelocator.com/index.html?districtCode=49275 for the elementary school. Your middle school is Thomas Middle School and your high school is Lakes High School.
Can my child attend on-base schools if we live off base?
In Washington there's a waiver process to request to attend another school outside of your zoned school. Receiving a waiver is dependent on the space available in one of the on-base schools for the grade(s) you need. Call the Clover Park School District at +1(253)583-5000 or visit http://www.cloverpark.k12.wa.us/Dept/StudentServices/Enrollment_Checklist.aspx for further information regarding waivers. If the waiver is approved, the parent is responsible for transportation and the requirements of the waiver. We recommend families also have a backup plan in their zoned school district in case their waiver request is not approved.
I live on Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Where do my children register for school?
Once you register for school, your assigned school will begin sending you communication about the upcoming school year and specific information about your students as that information becomes available.
I'm considering private school for my student. Are all private schools mandated to follow the county recommendations?
Yes, the private school fall under state oversight.
If I choose to home school, what financial/instructive/administrative resources are available?
Home school is a family choice and by definition the parent picks up the cost of the curriculum and any instructional necessities. However, the Department of the Army has a grant available through AER to assist with learning needs due to COVID. If you’re considering the homeschool option, you’ll need to file an Intent to Home School form with the student services department of your district and find a curriculum that will provide you measurable objectives so you can keep track of the learning obtained. Learn more from Washington State’s Laws Regulating Home-Based Instruction.
What are my childcare options if CYS can't provide spaces for my children (birth through 5 years)?
Patrons are encouraged to find off-base childcare options. Go to the Child Care Aware of America website and find an alternative childcare provider. Additionally, you can check out the new resource available through militaryonesource.mil. This is a new program the Department of Defense is providing for Active Duty Service Members, allowing families to find, hire and pay for hourly, flexible and on-demand care. The benefit is the free monthly subscription to a national online service to search for care. This new service is not available to DOD civilians. Once you select a CCAoA provider and make arrangements for care, go to Parent Central Services to obtain a statement of non-availability. The reason for identifying a provider first is the statement of non-availability is only valid for 10 days. Patrons should contact CCAoA regarding subsidy information, as the availability varies by service.
How can I join the CYS team?
Join the MWR Team as a child and youth program assistant! Attend our job fairs, details at fb.com/JBLMcys.
What can the School Support Services team do for my family?
Your School Liaison Officers at JBLM give you assistance with school registration and transition. We help with questions about compliance and solutions regarding the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children to ensure your family receives the same opportunities for educational success as other children, without any penalty or delay due to your PCS. We provide two-way communication between the school and parent. We help you connect with homeschool co-ops or support groups. We provide answers to your questions about special education (IEP or 504 Plans in place), schools, homeschooling, special education, scholarships, transitions and more.
I have other questions. Where do I go for more information?
- For CYS registration information, email USArmy.JBLM.IMCOM.List.DFMWR-CYS-Registration@mail.mil
- A certificate of non-availability, if required, is available from Parent Central Services after selecting and registering at an authorized Child Care Aware of America location, by calling +1(253)966-2977. (Patrons are encouraged to go to the Child Care Aware of America website and find an alternative childcare provider. Patrons should contact CCAoA regarding subsidy information, as the availability varies by service.)
- Check out the new resource available through militaryonesource.mil. This is a new program the Department of Defense is providing for Active Duty Service Members, allowing families to find, hire and pay for hourly, flexible and on-demand care. The benefit is the free monthly subscription to a national online service to search for care. This new service is not available to DOD civilians.
- The three school liaison officers in the School Support Services office are monitoring all the school district decisions and are planning with the CYS teams to determine how we can best support virtual learning for children in our care. To reach the team, call +1(253)967-7195.
- For information about your child's school, schedule or other specific information, please reach out to the district or school principal directly.
- Special education- IEP or 504 Plans in place.
- You live in another area than those named in the article.
- General questions - please call and get your answers.
- Your School Liaison Officers at JBLM give you assistance with school registration and transition.
- We help with questions about compliance and solutions regarding the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children to ensure your family receives the same opportunities for educational success as other children, without any penalty or delay due to your PCS.
- We provide two-way communication between the school and parent.
- We help you connect with homeschool co-ops or support groups.
- We provide answers to your questions about schools, homeschooling, special education, scholarships, transitions and more.
The safety of staff and students is the priority. We encourage you to stay in contact with your student's schools for up-to-date information. Please see the CYS/COVID FAQ below for more information. For more information on COVID-19 case numbers and recommendations from the Health Department see:
Preparing for the 2021-2022 school year
Locally, schools have stated publicly that they plan to open in a full day, five-days-a-week schedule. For current guidelines, please look at your school district’s website.
For students returning to their school, please remind them that things will be different from the two days a week that they encountered this year, and that there may not be any work online. Some students may be confused having to be in the classroom all day for five days a week. Calmly reminding your child that school is supposed to be a five day a week event will help them transition.
If your child needs a physical or immunizations – make those appointments now so that they can be conducted before school starts and they don’t have to miss class to get those completed.
Registration for most of the school districts is being conducted online only; you can call the school for help but you will be asked to go online and submit your registration application. Most schools are going to online registration to cut down on the number of persons inside of the school.
Many school districts are waiting for guidance from the County Department of Health and the Washington State Health Department and the CDC guidelines for School and Child Care Centers. The school board does not make this ruling; it is handed down by the state and federal governments. Remember to look for what your school district puts out.
If you are new to JBLM and are unsure of where you need to register your child, have issues with credit transfers or just need some guidance – please contact JBLM’s school liaison office at 253-967-7195.
For more information
Can’t find what you need here? Contact JBLM’s School Liaison Office for information at 253-967-7195 or visit the School Support Services webpage.
Some topics you might need answers on include:
Do you know about School Liaison Officers?