When military parents are activated or deployed for long-term missions, their child care needs often increase and with it, their out-of-pocket child care expenses. To assist with this additional cost, the Army and Department of Defense (DoD) offer Soldiers the Army Fee Assistance Program.
Army Fee Assistance is the Army’s contribution toward the total cost of child care for Army Families. Fee Assistance pays down the higher cost of off-post care, allowing eligible Families to pay fees comparable to those charged at the Installation or Army Supported Joint Base for full-day services. Fee assistance compensates for the difference between a Community Based Provider’s rate and an Installation’s rate for similar services. The service member paid portion and the amount of fee assistance combined usually equal the provider’s rate. A provider rate cap applies of $1,500 per child per month.
Part of the U.S. Army Child, Youth & School Services, the Army Fee Assistance Program offers eligible Families monthly monetary assistance (paid directly to the child care provider) to help offset the cost of civilian child care in their communities. Program guidelines state that if space is available for a Sponsor’s child or children at an Army Child Development Center (CDC) or Family Child Care/School Age Care (FCC/SAC) Program, then said space must be used for the child care. In the event that the Army CDC or FCC/SAC does not have space available, then the Sponsor will be eligible to apply for Off-Post Community Based Fee Assistance.
- Families of active duty and activated/deployed Reserve Component Soldiers
- Department of the Army Civilians
- Survivors of Fallen Soldiers
- Wounded Warriors currently assigned to a Warriors in Transition Unit (WTU), Battalion (WTB) or Special Operations Command
- Military Spouses who are working a minimum of 16 hours or enrolled in school
Army Fee Assistance Program Types
Military Child Care in Your Neighborhood (MCCYN)
The Military Child Care in Your Neighborhood program provides fee assistance for Families of active duty Sponsors, Civilians, Guard/Reservist and Guard/Reserve Technicians who are unable to access on-installation child care. Guard and Reserves must be on orders for a minimum of 30 consecutive days.
Operation Military Child Care (OMCC)
The Operation Military Child Care program provides fee assistance for Families of service members with a status of Deployed, Recruiter, or Deployed Guard/Recruiter. Active duty orders are required to be submitted with the application for verification purposes. Guard and Reserves must be on orders for a minimum of 30 consecutive days.
Army Respite Care
The Army Respite program provides no-cost, hourly child care to support the unique child care needs for Army Families who meet certain criteria.
For Service Members with eligible deployment orders, Families are eligible for up to 16 hours of no-cost, hourly child care per child per month. Respite care pays up to $10 per hour for the first child and up to $5 per hour for any additional child, up to a cap of $15 total per hour.
Per the Army guidelines, respite care is available for the following service members:
- Deployed Contingency Operation
- Wounded Warriors (must be assigned to a WTU or WTB)
- Rotational Forces
- Deployed Non-Contingency Operation
- Survivors of Fallen Warriors
- Army Recruiters
- ROTC Cadet Cadre (trainer)
Respite Care can be used for any of the following:
- Attending appointments
- Running errands
- Caregiver downtime
- Nights, weekends and overnight care
- Respite care may also be used during the day, but it must be outside of the regularly subsidized care if the Family already participates in the Army Fee Assistance Program
- Respite Family Eligibility
The spouse/second parent does not need to be working, going to school or looking for work to qualify for the Respite Care program.
For all Army Fee Assistance programs, Families must select a care provider that is eligible for the MCCYN program and may only use the provider for which they have been approved. To search for eligible MCCYN providers who are already enrolled in the program, visit USA.ChildcareAware.org. Once a provider has been located, Sponsors must contact Child Care Aware of America at 1-800-424-2246 to verify eligibility.
The Fee Assistance Program is administered by Child Care Aware of America. For more information about eligibility requirements and fee assistance application instructions, call 800-424-2246, 703-341-4100, or visit USA.ChildcareAware.org.
BY STAFF WRITER Chase Whitlock