PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
The arrival of summer marks the beginning of the permanent change of station season. While arriving at a new duty station can be stressful, finding child care can be even more daunting when parents are confronted with the Child Development Center waitlist.
The waitlist for the Peterson Air Force Base CDC varies daily. The various aspects that determine your wait time are the program your child needs to be enrolled in, the number of daily registrations, and the different priority levels of those registrations. Although this may seem to be an added stress, the CDC has a couple of solutions that will help you find care while you are on the waitlist.
“Family Child Care homes are personal businesses where care is offered out of a person’s home and the providers can set their own fees,” said Lisa Jerome, Child and Youth Services chief. “An FCC home is either a licensed on-base house or an affiliated off-base home. Both types of FCC homes are approved by the 21st Mission Support Group commander.”
If your child is between the ages of 5 and 12, he or she can be enrolled in school-aged care at the R.P. Lee Youth Center on base.
“If space is not available in the programs, the family child care coordinator can assist with finding care off the installation through Colorado Shines and the Child Care Aware of America organization,” said Jerome.
The price of off-base care can be more expensive than on-base care, but if a child care slot is not available through base facilities, Child Care Aware of America runs a fee assistance program that will help offset the increased cost.
“Eligible sponsors can apply to participate in the Air Force Military Child Care in Your Neighborhood (MCCYN) fee assistance program,” stated Jerome.
In order to qualify for the program, an eligible Air Force sponsor must first enroll their child in the Military Child Care website, and the child must be placed on the waitlist. The MCCYN application is completed online and Child Care Aware of America uses Military Child Care to verify the status of all requests.
“As families apply to the fee assistance programs, they are assigned a child care coordinator,” Jerome said. “The coordinator processes any changes, updates and recertifications as well as enforce policy changes when appropriate.”
Once the application is approved, the fee assistance stays in place for one year. To receive assistance for an additional year, the sponsor would need to recertify their application.
“A family’s child care coordinator will serve as their primary point of contact throughout their eligibility period and/or until the child ages out of the program,” said Jerome.
To learn more about MCCYN please visit the Child Care Aware of America website: https://usa.childcareaware.org/fee-assistancerespite/military-families/air-force/fee-assistance/