SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii — The U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii (USAG Hawaii) continues to improve its practices and policies to prevent unauthorized child care from occurring in its housing areas.
On the morning of Feb. 24, 2019, a seven month-old baby died while in the overnight care of a military spouse residing in the Army’s Aliamanu Military Reservation. The case raised questions about the Army’s regulation of unauthorized child care in military housing.
On Feb. 26, 2019, the U.S. Army Hawaii commanding general initiated an investigation into the administration of the Family Child Care Program on all Army installations in Hawaii to discover any additional measures that could strengthen existing policies and practices preventing unlicensed care. The resulting report led to improved policies and procedures on several fronts.
“The safety and security of those living and working on our installations remains our highest priority,” said Col. Thomas J Barrett, commander, USAG Hawaii. “The findings, recommendations and actions taken from this investigation are key to that effort.”
Some of the improvements recommended and implemented now are:
- Updating Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to streamline and strengthen processes in place to follow up on reports of unauthorized child care (UCC).
- Creating an electronic database enabling better tracking of alleged incidents of UCC and allowing quicker and more thorough follow up.
- Developing a widespread information campaign providing rules on UCC and guidance on how to become an authorized provider.
- Instituting command orientation briefings on UCC for all newly arriving Soldiers and families.
- Requiring closer monitoring of new Family Child Care (FCC) provider requests ensuring required home inspections and background screenings are completed faster and with more efficiency.
- Routing violation notice letters through battalion-level commanders prior to providing them to Soldiers whose homes are subject to reports of alleged UCC.
- Streamlining FCC application procedures permitting faster activation in Hawaii for military families coming in from installations where they were previously authorized as FCC providers.
- Updating the garrison’s Directorate of Emergency Services protocols to better assist military police when called upon to investigate or inspect homes where alleged UCC is occurring.
- Updating Island Palm Communities’ resident guide to characterize UCC as a “major violation” of resident leases. This designation clears the path for possible eviction proceedings when UCC is substantiated.
The Army appreciates the understanding and continued support of the local community. USAG-HI cares deeply about the welfare of its service members, their families and the surrounding communities.