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DEFENSE COMMUNITIES 360

Military Families Face Some Barriers to Obtaining Child Care, GAO Says

  • February 7, 2012
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The two main impediments to military families obtaining DOD-subsidized child care are insufficient availability and a lack of awareness, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

Despite an expansion of outreach efforts by DOD, some families remain unaware of subsidized child care, particularly from off-installation providers. Reservists and recruiters who are geographically isolated from an installation may be less likely to be aware of subsidized care, the report stated.

The shortage of on-installation child care spaces resulted partially from heavy deployment demands. DOD has responded, however, by approving construction of 21,000 new child care spaces, according to GAO. In addition, DOD and the services have initiatives under way to increase the availability of eligible off-installation providers and to launch an agency-wide system to provide servicemembers a central place to request child care, either on- or off-installation.

Read the story in Government Executive.

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