Military Child Care Assistance: What’s Available to Service Members

Military Child Care Assistance: What’s Available to Service Members

Last Updated April 18th 2022, at 9.30am

Whether you’re in the Army, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Navy, Air Force or the newly formed Space Force, your career and accomplishments in the active duty military are something to be proud of. But we understand that nothing in our lives fuels a sense of fulfillment quite like our very own pride and joy: our children. Your military family may be important and the bonds you’ve formed with fellow personnel are real and lasting. However, the connections that epitomize families are everlasting. 

Yet as most of us can likely attest, raising a growing child isn’t easy and can be expensive. According to the most recent figures available from the United States Department of Agriculture, assuming a child moves out of the home when they turn 18, middle-income parents spend approximately $233,610. That’s the equivalent of nearly $13,000 per year. In the 50+ year history of this poll, the average cost of raising a child has consistently trended higher.

While every dollar we spent on our children may very well be worth it, spending what we do on our kids’ food, clothing, health care and education can derail our budget. However, because you’re serving our country as an active duty service member you may be provided with financial assistance for family child care. In light of inflation concerns and supply chain disruptions, there may be no time like the present to take advantage of military child care assistance programs.

Child Care Aware of America

Child Care Aware of America is a nationally recognized relief organization. Teaming up with over 400 child care resource and referral agencies across the country, Child Care Aware of America has provided fee assistance and respite child care to more than 150,000 military families over the last 20 years. Some of the programs Child Care Aware of America makes available to active duty service personnel include Army Respite Care, Operation Military Child Care and Military Child Care in Your Neighborhood. This website provides more details on eligibility, but if you seek to use one of the programs, you’ll need a provider fee assistance application, a W-9 form and a copy of your Employer Identification Number Certificate. Child Care Aware of America also has a number of child care and fee assistance programs that are unique to the individual service branches, like the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines and Space Force.

Here as well, there are certain eligibility criteria that service members must satisfy to leverage fee assistance. But Child Care Aware of America lists what those requirements are on their website. For details, scroll to the “Families” section at the top of the website page and click on “Military/DoD Fee Assistance & Respite” in the dropdown toolbar.

Operation: Military Child Care

Planning and sticking to a schedule comes with the territory in the military, but so does the possibility of deployment, which can come at any time. For parents who are sent overseas, there’s Operation: Military Child Care. Sponsored by the Department of Defense, the National Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies, as well as the Child Care Resource and Referral Network, this initiative helps eligible military parents who are deployed find child care options in their local community that are reasonably priced. Families and child guardians may also be able to receive financial assistance depending on what they earn and their expenses. How much fee assistance families receive can vary substantially, refer to this downloadable document which has more details on Operation: Military Child Care. It may be just the family child care program you’ve been looking for.

 Department of Defense Child Care Centers

Another child care program that’s available through the DoD is Military Child Care. The Defense Department maintains over 800 child development centers around the country. The child care services are available to all military members as well as gold star spouses, DoD contractors and military retirees. Some of the services offer 24/7 child care for kids up to 12 years of age. As with the other programs, there may be certain eligibility requirements. Visit this website to see if you qualify.

Military child care assistance is not our area of specialty at Omni Financial®, but we can try to help make your next family moments extra special with a military personal loan. The funds from our military loans are there to use as you choose, whether it’s for helping your children get ready for the next school year or to pay for a family vacation to develop a better familial bond. Contact us today to learn more or apply online.

The information provided in this blog post is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered legal or financial advice. You should consult with a financial professional to determine what may be best for your individual needs. See individual websites for details, restrictions, and other information. Omni Financial does not endorse, recommend or imply affiliation with the listed organizations.