JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas (AFNS) —
The Air Force expanded the number of hours it will provide free child care for families of military members deployed or on remote assignments starting April 1, 2018.
The change provides 16 hours of pre-deployment, 16 hours each month during deployment or remote assignment, and 16 hours of post-deployment care per child. This increases free care from a maximum of 48 hours total for those same periods previously. For example, under the expanded program, an Airman with two children deploying for six months would be eligible for 256 hours of free care, 128 per child.
The change follows feedback from Air Force families and leadership, said Col. Donna Turner, Air Force Services Activity commander.
“This expanded care program will give our Airmen peace of mind that their families are taken care of throughout the deployment and remote assignment process. This will certainly enhance readiness and help build our Airmen’s resiliency so they can better concentrate on executing the mission,” Turner said.
The expansion is part of the Air Force Family Child Care program that offers free care in FCC homes. AFSVA manages the program.
In order to qualify, Airmen must be: on active duty or in active status as a member of the Air Force Reserve or National Guard; assigned to or working on the installation;
deployed in support of a contingency operation; and deployed for a minimum of 30 calendar days or routinely deployed on a short-term basis (30 days in a six-month period).
To apply, Airmen must provide a copy of deployment or permanent change of station orders and complete an Air Force FCC Expanded Child Care Request.
Airmen can access FCC Deployment Child Care Support once they have orders until 60 days after they return. Those using FCC Remote Assignment Child Care can do so every month they are on remote assignment.
“Deployments and remote assignments can be stressful for our Airmen and their families,” said Anne Rasmussen, AFSVA Child Development Branch chief. “This change will help them during these times of separation.”
In fiscal year 2017, the Air Force provided more than 4,400 hours of care to families of deployed or remote members.
Airmen can visit their installation family child care office for more information about this and other child care programs.