Childcare Resources for Military Families
For those of you mamas looking for some childcare, whether it be full-time or part-time, on-call, or one-off assistance, there are a lot of options for military families to take advantage of. In my opinion, the best option is always a referral, however, when you don’t have family, and your friends are in the same military family situation as yourself, it can be hard to find referrals for sitters.
On-Base Day Care
There are several resources for military families. On-base childcare is the main option, with part-time and full-time options available.
The main sticking point with this is availability, capacity limits, and extremely long wait lists. My two kids have been on the waitlist for about 9 months now and they essentially told me my infant would never make it to the top of the waitlist as infant spots are much harder to come by.
My daughter received a spot but my son was 4 months behind her. Most people, including myself, cannot afford to pay for my daughter to go to daycare and have a nanny watch my son. They don’t bump your second child up on the waitlist either. They basically tell you “tough”.
His first birthday will be here before we know it and then he will be in the next category which, according to the childcare personnel, will make spots easier to come by.
The main reasons that I have my kids on the waitlist for base childcare is that the costs are significantly lower than traditional off-base daycare options, and the hours are pretty great (6am-6pm – this may vary from base to base).
Also, I live very close to base so convenience-wise, this is a great option, and I can also count on my husband to be able to drop the kids off when he’s home.
If both kids ever get off the waitlist around the same time I will let you know how I feel about their childcare!
Off-Base Day Care Subsidy Program
For those that are unaware, the military has a day care subsidy program. If you are unable to get into daycare on base, they will subsidize the cost of the day care program you are paying for.
It is called, MCCYN Fee Assistance Program and you can find out more about it here: https://public.militarychildcare.csd.disa.mil/mccu/ui/#/mccyn. I had a friend utilize this program.
Even if you can afford childcare without the subsidy, this is still a great program you can utilize as a military family, regardless of total income.
Fee-Assistance Pilot Program for In-Home Care
What used to only be available in a couple of states, at a few bases, is now a program that any military family can now apply for. It allows for fee-assistance to families who utilize in-home childcare options.
There are requirements and you must apply, but this is an option I am looking into further. You have to find a licensed in-home care provider that is willing and able to meet the requirements but this is a great option for larger families or unconventional work hour schedules.
Military One Source is a great resource you can navigate to find out tons of information on childcare options for military families.
If you are looking for childcare in any capacity, full-time, part-time, on-call, one-offs, date nights, etc, SitterCity.com is a great option to find local childcare assistance. If you are familiar with Care.com, this is essentially the exact same thing.
The perk of SitterCity.com is that as a military family you can utilize the services for free. I have found a babysitter through SitterCity. There are pros and cons but you can vet people very easily and find the price range and experience levels that you prefer and interview individuals.
Are there any other resources that you have found? Share below!