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Human Resources Directorate

CHILD CARE SUBSIDY PROGRAM

FLAG VOICE 305

In July 2006, the Coast Guard partnered with the General Services Administration (GSA) to make child care more affordable for Coast Guard members. A Memorandum of Agreement was created to assist members to locate state licensed center-based or home-based child care facilities. In addition, a tuition assistance program providing up to $4,500 per child per year became available to qualifying personnel for child care services received at commercial child care facilities nationwide. ALCOAST 373/06 described the establishment of this initiative. Initially, we were able to offer the full subsidy to all families without regard to income.

The child care subsidy program quickly became popular among Coast Guard families. Within the last 4 months, more than 600 children have been enrolled and the number of families applying to participate in the program is increasing.

In accordance with the CG Child Development Center (CDC) program guidelines, the amount of child care subsidy provided to members is based on Total Family Income (TFI). Each subsidy is paid directly to the child care provider on behalf of the CG member and the amount of subsidy is limited to the difference between the actual tuition rate charged by the child care provider and the average tuition rate a CG member would pay in a CG-operated child development center (CDC). For example, the average out-of pocket tuition cost for CG members using CG CDCs is:

TFI MEMBER’S TUITION RATE AT CG CDCs
$0-28,000 $70.00 weekly
$28,001-34,000 $85.00 weekly
$34,001-44,000 $95.00 weekly
$44,001-55,000 $108.00 weekly
$55,001-70,000 $120.00 weekly
$70,000+ $132.00 weekly

The new Child Care Subsidy Program has reached its maximum capacity and it is imperative that we restructure it to ensure that the maximum assistance is directed to families who need the most help. To accomplish this goal, the following revised eligibility criteria will be implemented:

(1) Only families with a TFI of $75,000 or less, will qualify for this program.

(2) Only families where both spouses are employed full-time, or in which the spouse of the CG member is working at least 30 hrs per week, or is a full-time student, will be eligible for the program. A sixty-day exception may be granted for families where the spouse is pursuing employment, however the exception will not be automatic. A written request for exception to the policy must be submitted by the family along with the application in order to qualify.

(3) The following changes in the amount of annual subsidy will be implemented:

For families with a TFI of $45,000 or less, the maximum subsidy of $4,500 annually will be retained for the first child enrolled. Up to two additional preschool-age children in the same family may receive a reduced subsidy benefit in accordance with the table below.

Families with a TFI between $45,001 and $75,000 will qualify for subsidy benefits in accordance with the table below:

Yearly TFI maximum yearly subsidy
Child #1 Child #2 Child #3
<$45K $4.5K $2K $1K
$45,001-55K $3K $1.5K 0
$55,001-65K $2K $1K 0
$65,001-75K $1K 0 0

(4) Families whose TFI exceeds $75,000 per year who are currently enrolled in the child care subsidy program will be permitted to remain in the program through FY 07 (30 September 2007), however the total child care benefit will be limited to $1,000 per family.

(5) For families where the spouse is not currently employed at least 30 hours per week or attending school full-time, a sixty-day exception will be granted, if the spouse is pursuing employment or school registration and a written request for the extension of the benefit is submitted. Otherwise, all subsidy benefits will be discontinued effective 1 February 2007

(6) All other revisions to the eligibility criteria will become effective on 1 January 2007.

(7) All families participating in the child care subsidy program will be required to re-certify their TFI information and spouse employment status by 1 March 2007 and subsidy benefits will be adjusted accordingly.

GSA will continue to provide administrative support to Coast Guard members. For more information contact Ms. Judy Gonzales at 1-866-508-0371, or by e-mail at uscoastguardchildcare@gsa.gov. The Coast Guard POC for this matter is Ms. Marta Denchfield, Dependent Care Program Manager at 202-475-5160, or Marta.E.Denchfield@uscg.mil. We are very pleased to be able to offer assistance to make available child care options more affordable. Thank you in advance for your understanding and cooperation as we adjust this program to target the benefit to those with the greatest needs.

Regards,

RADM Cliff Pearson

RADM Clifford I. Pearson
Assistant Commandant for Human Resources

Issue date: 11/3/06

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Last Modified 7/8/2014