Extension News

Help Offered for Military Child Care Costs

5/9/2006

AMES, Iowa -- Families and child guardians of military personnel may be eligible to participate in Operation: Military Child Care (OMCC), a Department of Defense initiative to support the child care needs of military parents who are activated or deployed.

When military parents are activated or deployed, their need for child care often increases and so do their out-of-pocket child care expenses, according to Chris Gleason, Iowa State University Extension 4-H youth development coordinator for Operation Military Kids.

The subsidy program is intended to help support military spouse employment, education or special medical circumstances, Gleason said. Subsidies will be provided only to single parent families, families with a working spouse or a spouse who is enrolled in school. Subsidies also will be provided to families in which the spouse is looking for work for a period of 60 calendar days.

Those who are National Guard and Reserve Service members either activated or deployed are eligible to participate during the period of the military parent's deployment period and for 30 days after the return of the military parent.

Those who are deployed active duty soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines (who are unable to access care on military installations) are eligible during the deployment period and for 60 days after the return of the military parent.

This initiative helps eligible military families locate affordable child-care options in local communities, Gleason said. Military families who use licensed or legally operating community-based child care programs and providers will pay reduced fees. Military families living near installations will be referred to on-base child care programs.

Fee reductions will vary for each family depending on total family income, geographic location, child care fee policies and available funding. Family circumstances are considered when determining fees.

To find out more, check the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies on the Web at http://www.naccrra.org/MilitaryPrograms/index.php?program=2 or contact Child Care Aware toll-free at 1-800-424-2246 or via the Web at www.childcareaware.org.
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Contacts :

Chris Gleason, 4-H Youth Development, (515) 294-1557, cgleason@iastate.edu

Carol Ouverson, Extension Communication and Marketing, (515) 294-9640, couverso@iastate.edu