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Child Care Program

What is it?
Army child care programs form a comprehensive system of diverse on and off-post delivery options for eligible children 4 weeks to 12 years of age. Installation child development programs operate in accordance with statutory, Department of Defense (DoD) and Army policy requirements that include DoD certification (equivalent to "state licensing") and national accreditation by professional organizations. Off-post Army-sponsored, community-based child care programs (generally pre-approved preferred providers) are subject to standards outlined by the Army in formal agreements and contracts. Off-post programs supplement, rather than replace, on-post programs. Military child care programs are frequently cited as a model for the Nation.

What has the Army done?
Army child care delivery options include: facility-based care (installation Child Development Centers); home-based care (Family child care) in government quarters or off-post private housing; and targeted off-post, community-based programs for geographically dispersed Families.

Baseline services for children include full-day, part-day, before and after school, hourly, and extended day care options. When needed, 24/7 care and longer term care options are also available to meet unique mission requirements.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The Army plans to construct 100 Child Development Centers and expand authorized off-post options to meet 80 percent of the Army child care demand.

Why is this important to the Army?
Army Child Care Programs enhance Army military readiness by reducing the conflict between Soldiers' parental responsibilities and their on-the-job mission requirements. The programs for children help reduce stress on Families, minimize Soldier and spouse lost duty/work time, play a role in influencing Soldier and Family decisions to remain in the Army, provide positive developmental opportunities for young/school age children, and demostrate how much the Army cares about its people.

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