President Trump's hiring freeze is forcing two Army bases to suspend their child-care programs

Trump's belt-tightening is hurting families of active-duty service members

By Matthew Rozsa
February 22, 2017 6:29PM (UTC)
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(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

When President Trump ordered a federal hiring freeze shortly after taking office, critics were quick to point out that it could have a serious impact on veterans and service members, who make up 30 percent of the federal workforce. Now another piece of evidence has come out indicating that they were correct.

Officials at Army bases in Fort Knox, Kentucky, and U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden, Germany, have had to indefinitely suspend services that they provided to children who reside at their bases, according to


"Effective immediately, no new children will be enrolled in the CDC," explained a letter sent out to Fort Knox residents on Feb. 17 and signed by garrison commander Col. Stephen Aiton. The program — known as the CDC — is the base's part-day child development center programs, which includes part-day preschools. "CDC will no longer accommodate childcare for our hourly care and part day families until further notice." Aiton explained that "we are prevented from bringing new caregivers on board but are still having our usual staff turnover and illnesses, which creates challenges to maintaining ratios and providing quality childcare."

Similarly, the Wiesbaden base sent a letter to its resident on Feb. 22 explaining that all part-day programs would be suspended.

"The closure is a result of staff shortage due to the federal hiring freeze. This hiring freeze prevents CYS from replacing staff who depart for any reason to include normal rotation," explains the letter signed by garrison commander Col. Todd Fish. CYS refers to Child, Youth, & School services.


During his first scheduled listening session with veterans earlier this month, Trump raised eyebrows by not including America's largest veterans groups including the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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