House lawmakers pressed the Pentagon’s service personnel chiefs last Thursday on why military families are waiting as much as six months and longer for on-base child care, Military Times reported.
During a Military Personnel subcommittee hearing, Vice Adm. Robert Burke, the Navy’s personnel chief, said about 8,000 personnel were on wait lists and “about 2,000 of them are in excess of 180 days.”
Army Deputy Chief for Personnel Lt. Gen. Thomas Seamands told the panel that Army wait lists vary by location, but in Hawaii waits can be more than 100 days.
And Air Force Manpower, Personnel and Services Deputy Chief Lt. Gen. Brian Kelly said waits at some bases are “upward of 140 days.”
The wait lists concerned lawmakers who said it is about military quality of life.
Ranking Member Rep. Trent Kelly (R-Miss.) said “family services are directly related to retention.” He warned of losing talented personnel whose skills are in demand in the private sector.
Military child care has been an growing concern. Last week the House Defense Appropriations Committee included $70.7 in its markup to upgrade child care facilities while directing the services to generate “innovative ideas” to solve the shortage of on-base child care.
Military family child care will be will be discussed in a general session at the upcoming ADC 2019 Defense Communities National Summit June 10-12 in Washington.
The session, “The Future of On Base Quality of Life Services“ will feature several leading private and government speakers..
Air Force photo by Senior Airman Erick Requadt