There are several factors to consider when arranging child care. Quality child care is an important part of the support network for children of military families. When considering child care options, you should first consider your own child's unique needs. Children with special needs require special care and accommodations that must be considered when making child care decisions. Some children do better if they are in smaller groups and quieter settings while other children come alive in more active settings. It is important to make sure your child will be comfortable in the child care setting.
It is also important to consider location and hours. Do you want a child care location close to school or closer to where you work? Work hour are also an essential factor to consider. Most installation and community child care facilities offer Monday through Friday care with late fees if you need your child to be cared for beyond standard operating hours. There are some family child care centers that offer more flexible car hours.
Luckily, there are many child care options available to military families including child development centers, school-age care, family child care and installation referral services. The DoD has several programs to help with the unique challenges military families might face when seeking child care arrangements. There are usually one or more child care development centers located on your installation. Child development centers offer care for children aged six weeks through five years. The programs usually offer care during standard weekday hours, and some centers also offer part-time care arrangements. The fees for child developments centers are based on total family income calculation. Child development centers often have waiting lists, so be sure to find information about child care centers on your installation as soon as possible so you can make arrangements.
There are also often family child care centers available on most installations. This can be a good option for children who thrive in small group environments. Family child care centers are often located in the homes of child care providers. This is also a good option for those needing flexible child care arrangements, including extended or weekend hours. To get more information on family child care options on your installation, contact your installations child care center. In order to be certified by the DoD, each family care center must meet specific requirements, so you can feel at ease trusting the care of your child at a family child care center.
There are also school-age care programs available for children in kindergarten through 12 years. The school-age care program offers before-school care, after-school care, summer care and holiday care programs. If you find yourself in a position where it is difficult to find childcare, your installation may have an established Resource and Referral office that can help you find child care options available to you. If your installation