Fort Riley, Kansas



Childcare hiring fair draws a crowd, helps fill positions

By Suet Lee-Growney | 1ST INF. DIV. POST | May 26, 2017

     Fort Riley Child and Youth Services staff held a childcare provider hiring event May 15 at Riley’s Conference Center.

     Christopher Solano, Non-appropriated Funds division human resources officer at Civilian Personnel Advisory Center, said the event could not have been more timely since the hiring freeze took effect January this year. During that time, CYS was unable to hire new staff and lost Child and Youth Program Assistants to either moving for a permanent change of duty station or resigning, increasing the number of unfilled positions.

     During the event, 40 applicants attended, 34 interviews were conducted on the spot and 33 tentative job offers were made.

     “This event is designed to help us get the word out to more applicants and also get them through the process quicker than they normally would,” Solano said.

     The process of the job fair was simple. Potential CYPA could either apply online to expedite the hiring process or fill out an application when they came. Their applications would be vetted to see if they met the minimum qualifications of the position. After, applicants were referred to management for interviews. There were four interview stations set up. When they were selected, they began the pre-employment process of background checks at a different station. Lastly, they go to occupational health for the last part of their hiring course.

     “This process can knock three or four weeks off of the entire (employment) process,” Solano said. “Childcare background checks are much more lengthy than, really, any other position on this installation.”

     Although manpower for CYS has been on a decline since the hiring freeze, Solano said Fort Riley CYS have not reduced their services.

     “What this means is that you have employees who are working overtime, working extra hours at longer shifts in order to keep the doors open to maintain the levels that we have now,” he said.

     Solano said this hiring event is important because it is not just about hiring childcare employees, it’s about ensuring all the childcare providers have the availabilities for Soldier and family readiness.

     “Many other (military) installations have reduced services, Fort Riley has not,” he said. “However, we need to get people in quickly in order to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

     Wendy Winston, administrator at CYS, said they are looking for a candidate who is eager to work with children while providing quality care. Job experience is not necessary as candidates would be given all the training required.

     “I am just looking for people who (are) willing to do the work; they’re willing to be there in the absence of a parent,” Winston said. “(CYPAs) are there to take away a little bit of the stress level that parents have when they go into their jobs.”

     Winston said CYS is available all around the world and is a program that allows people to grow career wise, especially for military spouses.

     “(CYPAs) are able to move from one installation to the next and take that job with them,” Winston said.

     Sharon Erickson, wife of Spc. Robert Erickson from Company B, 101st Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, was one of the interviewees.

     Erickson is a Navy veteran and mother of three children.

     “We’ve been here for a while, so it would be nice to get back into the workforce,” Erickson said.

     Erickson said hiring events like this are benefi­cial to women and military spouses to help them get employed.

     “I am a firm believer that everyone should be contributing if they can, but that’s just me,” she said. “I’ve been at home, so now it’s time for me work outside the home. It’s good for morale.”

     Even after the event, CYS will still be hiring. Ap­plications are available at or con­tact the Fort Riley NAF HR office at 785-239-2325. The next CYS hiring event will be held in June.


Tag Hiring Fair