By Meaghan MacDougall
A new program has recently come out of its pilot stage that’s going to help reduce the cost of military child care at many bases and states across the country. The program was trialed in two states when it was first announced in 2019, and now many states and military bases are able to have access to affordable child care.

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New Military Child Care Program

The new child care program is called Military Child Care In Your Neighborhood. The Military Child Care In Your Neighborhood program offers military parents free child care assistance. The program is offered to civilians, active-duty sponsors, guards/reservists, and guard/reserve technicians who aren’t able to access installation child care. The program began in Virginia and Maryland in 2019 when it started its pilot. In September of 2021, the program was introduced in Nevada, and then Washington State got in on the action in February of the same year. The undersecretary of defense and personnel readiness, Gilbert Cisneros Jr., stated that DoD officials are communicating with officials in counties in Florida, California, and North Carolina to bring the new program for military child care assistance to families located in those states. This child care program was designed for military families who are unable to access on-base child care because of location or long waitlists. On-base child care cost is subsidized by the DoD and is based on family income, so the program is meant to align child care costs with the price of on-base child care. The Military Child Care In Your Neighborhood Plus program helps to create more centers and military family child care providers by paying subsidies to providers in locations where nationally accredited care is not available. Child care providers that are not nationally accredited are required to participate in their state’s quality improvement program.

How Does Military Child Care In Your Neighborhood Plus Work?

As a provider, you’re eligible to be a part of the Military Child Care In Your Neighborhood Plus program if you have a state child care license, a state inspection that has been completed in the last 12 months, a completed provider fee assistance application, and meet high-quality accreditation standards. Families who are interested in enrolling with a local provider for military day care within the program should look into the requirements when researching “child care near me.” Families who live 15 to 20 minutes away from an installation program must fill out and hold an active request for care before enrolling in fee assistance. The program is an extension of child care services that are offered at military installations across the United States. When searching for “affordable child care near me,” be aware that fee assistance programs are generally the most affordable for families. The new military child care program, also known as the MCCYN-Plus program, is one of the fee assistance programs. This means that, thanks to the program, more child care centers and providers will be able to be a part of the fee assistance program.

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