The COVID environment is making it hard for our workforce to plan for the future as we continue to face various regional conditions and fluctuating state and local mandates. Amidst this uncertainty, the Coast Guard must remain agile and adaptive to the changing circumstances, and continue to adjust our policies in order to support our workforce. At every level, commands must prioritize the wellness of members and their families, and apply all flexibility necessary to achieve our overall missions.
Child care is a necessity for many Coast Guard families, and support in that area must be a priority for all supervisors and command cadres. The resources below may provide the support some Coast Guard members need but command cadres should not see this list as a panacea. Rather, they should engage with their people to seek out flexible and creative solutions and foster a supportive and agile work environment.
How to find child care:
Requesting space(s) at a Department of Defense (DOD) Child Care Center, School Age Center or Family Child Care Home can be accomplished online. To find military child care in your area, go to: https://militarychildcare.com/ to sign up for an account. You can then search for care, request a space, and/or go on the waitlist for space within selected Child Development Centers. If you need assistance conducting your search or setting up your account, call 1-855-696-2934 and select Option 1 (Family Support). You can also email your questions or request to FamilySupport@MilitaryChildCare.com.
The Coast Guard Child Care Fee Assistance Program provides access to licensed, community-based child care center or family child care homes. Civilians, Active Duty, and Reservists on ADOS (for a minimum of 180 consecutive days) are eligible if their spouse or partner is employed and/or attending school with dependent children of ages 6 weeks to 12 years (or 6th grade). For more information on enrolling in the CG Child Care Fee Assistance program, visit: https://elibrary.cnic-n9portal.net/familyenrollment/community-programs/.
One of the best comprehensive search engines for child care in each state is through Child Care Aware of America. To search for licensed providers go to https://www.childcareaware.org/resources/ccrr-search-form/
and search by zip code or city to find a local provider. You can also contact local Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) agencies for assistance. Please note, Child Care Aware staff cannot assist you with enrollment in the CG Child Care Fee Assistance program, which is described below. Also, some state resources provide ratings but do not provide referrals to child care providers.
How to finance child care:
Coast Guard Mutual Assistance (CGMA) provides support to Coast Guard military and civilian families with child care, education, and lost wages. CGMA is not a first-come, first-served grant provider; if you have a need, be sure to apply! For detailed information about any of the below CGMA grants and loans, go to: https://www.cgmahq.org/covid19.html.
Note: Repayment of all Coronavirus-related CGMA loans will be delayed until early 2021 and families may take up to 24 months to pay back a loan! Members who need more time may request an extended payback period.