ARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS) --
Senior U.S. Space Force leaders shared their perspective with Guardians and their families and addressed concerns about childcare resources at the first virtual Space Force Child Care Community Forum in July.
This forum is being established in direct response to Guardian feedback related to their child care challenges. The SFCCCF will allow Guardians and their families to engage with Space Force Senior Leaders and child care subject matter experts to address their questions, processes and policies impacting child care.
During the event, Chief Master Sergeant of the Space Force Roger A. Towberman; Katharine Kelley, Deputy Chief of Space Operations for Human Capital; Mary Thompson, the spouse of Vice Chief of Space Operations Gen. David D. Thompson; and other Department of Air Force child care leads addressed questions from Guardians and their family members about available resources, information about facilities, points of contact, and more.
“We are thinking creatively about what works for our Guardians. What we’ve heard directly from our members, is that we need to demystify, communicate and share the programs that are in existence today and explain how they can leverage and navigate those resources, especially with unique work schedules,” Kelley said.
Towberman emphasized the importance of Guardians and their families knowing what child care options are available due to the nature of the Space Force mission.
“Space operations is not a 9-5 job. Protecting our nation is our job every day—every hour of every day,” Towberman said. “We’ve got to figure out how to have a model that works for a force that is predominantly employed in place and that works 24-hours a day.”
U.S. Space Force Lt. Col. Natasha Peeples, a Space Force material leader, noted that she—like many other Guardians—has faced challenges in identifying and accessing child care options. She was instrumental in soliciting Guardian feedback on child care and establishing the Child Care Community Forum in response.
“Guardians want to know what is available where they are,” Peeples said. “They also want a user-friendly process.”
To help Guardians and their families gain insight on child care options, subject matter experts discussed several resources available on Space Force Bases, including:
- Child and Youth Programs
- Child Development Centers
- Provides care for children six weeks to five years old
- Family Child Care
- Provides care for children and youth two weeks to 12 years old in a caregiver’s home.
- School Age Care
- Provides care for youth six years (or enrolled in kindergarten to 12 years old)
- School Liaison
- Assists with all local Pre-K through grade 12 school issues and challenges facing military children.
- Military Child Care in Your Neighborhood (Administered by Child Care Aware America)
- Provides authorized DAF personnel with assistance in locating, selecting and subsidizing the cost of civilian child care, when installation child care is not available or feasible.
- Child Care in Your Home Pilot Program (Administered by Child Care Aware America)
- Provides authorized DAF active-duty personnel fee assistance for families utilizing full-time in home child care providers.
- Current authorized locations include: Colorado Springs, San Antonio, National Capital Region, Ft. Walton-Beach, Las Vegas, San Diego, Norfolk, Fayetteville, Jacksonville/Mayport, Seattle/Tacoma and Hawaii
If you have specific questions about a child care program, please use the following contact information:
- MilitaryChildCare.com (MCC)
- MCCYN and MCCYN PLUS - administered by Child Care Aware of America
- Phone: 1-800-424-2246
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: https://www.childcareaware.org/fee-assistancerespite/military-families/air-force/fee-assistance
- Child Care in Your Home (CCYH) - administered by Child Care Aware of America
- DAF Child and Youth Programs/Fee Assistance
- USSF Guardian Child Care Education and Support
To listen to a recording of the child .care forum, click here (the forum begins at the 15-minute mark).