The resources listed here cover useful topics for parents, such as child care and education, school accrediting organizations, community resources, relocation, deployment and the Exceptional Family Member Program.
Council on Accreditation (COA) - COA's After School Standards represent a merging of NAA's standards and COA's 8th Edition Standards. COA serves as a leading voice for the after school profession, dedicated to the development, education, and care of children and youth during their out-of school hours. School-Age Care (SAC) programs must meet the accreditation standards set forth by COA. The COA website lists accreditation standards, updates and clarifications for after school organizations, guidelines, and other resources such as tools, documents, and tip sheets.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) - NAEYC's national, voluntary accreditation system sets and monitors professional standards for early childhood education programs. The organization also helps families identify quality early childhood education programs. The NAEYC website provides information on accreditation processes and requirements, and other resources such as newsletters and articles.
National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) The NAFCC provides accreditation for the family child care (FCC) profession. Military FCC homes are encouraged to achieve accreditation through NAFCC. The website lists links to information on the accreditation process, publications related to the profession, online training, and information on the annual family child care conference.
Military OneSource Military OneSource is an information and referral service, providing members of the military community and DoD civilian personnel designated as Civilian Expeditionary Workforce members with resources, tools, and counseling services. Available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, this service provides information and resources on many topics related to child care and can help locate child care services. Military OneSource will first direct families to the installation's child care program if a family lives on or within thirty minutes of an installation. If a family has already explored this option and has been assigned to a waiting list, Military OneSource will then refer the family to Child Care Aware of America (formerly NACCRRA). Child Care Aware of America works with families to identify child care options in the local community. In the event either of these resources fails to meet a family's needs, Military OneSource consultants will route the case for research to provide additional options. To contact Military OneSource by phone, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, call Stateside at 1-800-342-9647. The Military OneSource website lists specific dialing information for other countries.
Child Care Aware of America (formerly NACCRRA) - Child Care Aware of America is a "national network of more than 850 child care resource and referral centers (CCR&Rs) located in every state and most communities across the United States. CCR&R centers help families, child care providers, and communities find, provide, and plan for affordable, quality child care." Child Care Aware of America also partners with each of the Service branches to help military families find affordable child care, improving the quality of child care across the board. Through partnerships with the Department of Defense, Child Care Aware of America has several programs and nonprofit initiatives designed to help strengthen military families. Visit the links below and select your Service branch to learn more:
- Child Care Aware® - This nonprofit initiative is not just for military families. Under the administration of Child Care Aware of America (formerly NACCRRA), it provides parents with help in locating quality services and resources in the local community.
- Military Child Care in Your Neighborhood (MCCYN) - MCCYN is a DoD program operated in partnership with Child Care Aware of America (formerly NACCRRA). The program is designed to help service members stationed in communities without military installations (such as Recruiters, Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) instructors, Military Entrance Processing (MEP) personnel, and service members on Independent Duty) find affordable, high-quality child care in communities by providing reduced fees for the care of their children.
- Operation: Military Child Care (OMCC) - This program provides a minimum of four hours of free child care for children of returning National Guard and Reserve service members during their two week Rest Recuperation (R&R) leave.
- Child Care Assistance for Families of Severely Injured Military Members - This program provides families of severely injured military members with assistance to find and pay for safe, licensed child care services for a period of six months during their period of recuperation. (Extensions beyond the six month period will be considered based upon physician reassessment). The program is available nationwide wherever the injured member is receiving either in-patient or out-patient medical care.
Child Care Technical Assistance Network (CCTAN) (Formerly - National Child Care Information and Technical Assistance Center (NCCIC))Operated by the US Department of Health and Human Services, CCTAN is a national clearinghouse and technical assistance (TA) center that provides comprehensive child care information resources and TA services to Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Administrators and other key stakeholders. Part of the website provides a listing of National Accreditation Organizations for Early Childhood Programs, a collection of agencies that have developed accreditation systems to recognize early child care and education programs that meet higher standards than are required by state regulations.
The Military Child Initiative Through a partnership with the DoD, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the Johns Hopkins Center on School, Family, and Community Partnerships, the Military Child Initiative works to improve educational environments for military children to meet their unique needs. The website provides more information about the Initiative and information about the technical assistance that is available through this program.
Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC) MCEC is a nonprofit organization that promotes partnerships and provides for networking of military installations and their supporting school districts. The website provides links to their education resource center, information and MCEC initiatives, publications and research, and information on training opportunities.
Military K-12 Partnership Through a partnership with DoDEA, learn how the Department of Defense and all of the services are working with educators and administrators across the nation to provide quality education for all children of military families.
Reach Out and Read Reach Out and Read is a national, nonprofit organization that promotes early literacy by making books a routine part of pediatric care. Reach Out and Read trains doctors and nurses to advise parents about the importance of reading aloud and to give books to children at pediatric checkups from six months to five years of age, with a special focus on children growing up in poverty.
Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) The ASYMCA is a nonprofit organization that works with DoD to provide support services to military service members and their families. ASYMCA offers essential programs to include hospital assistance, spouse support services, health and wellness services, and child care.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America The Boys & Girls Clubs of America often partner with military installation youth centers to help young family members succeed in school, stay healthy, learn important skills, pursue arts and sports, and explore vocational choices.
National 4-H Headquarters 4-H partners with many of the installation Children and Youth Services programs to provide technical assistance and training for military child care staff and to establish local 4-H clubs for military youth on installations.
National Military Families Association (NMFA) NMFA strives to educate military families about their rights and about benefits and services available to them. NMFA also provides military families with information on a wide range issues affecting their lives. The website has information on children and deployment and has a section focused on Family Life, with information on child care, spouse employment, and adoption. Operation Purple Camp Experience, sponsored by NMFA, is a free, week-long summer camp program offered at over 60 locations to support military children who have a deployed parent.
Exceptional Family Members
Child Care Aware of America (formerly NACCRRA) Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) Respite Care Child Care Aware of America (formerly NACCRRA) has partnered with the Services to assist military families with special needs children by providing respite care so that the spouse or service member can leave the house, go to an appointment, or just rest. The website provides parent and provider applications and more information about the program, including eligibility requirements.
Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR) CPIR serves as the central source of information on disabilities in infants, toddlers, children, and youth; laws authorizing special education; and research-based information on effective educational practices related to children with disabilities. The website provides information on a number of topics through an easy-to-navigate A-Z topic listing and also provides links to publications and resources.
Specialized Training of Military Parents (STOMP) STOMP is a federally-funded parent training and information center established to assist military families who have children with special education or health needs. STOMP assists families by providing information on laws, regulations, and resources; connecting families to other families; assisting parents and professionals in developing community parent education/support groups; and by providing a voice to raise awareness of issues faced by military families of children with disabilities.
National Fatherhood Initiative The National Fatherhood Initiative works to improve the well-being of children by increasing the proportion of children growing up with involved, responsible, and committed fathers. The Initiative educates through public awareness campaigns, research, and other resources; equips and develops leaders of national, state, and community fatherhood initiatives through curricula, training, and technical assistance; and engages sectors of society through strategic alliances and partnerships. The National Fatherhood Initiative offers several resources specifically targeted to the military community through programs such as the "Military Fathers Program" and the "Drop Dad a Line" program.
ZERO TO THREE ZERO TO THREE is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to "promote the healthy development of our nation's infants and toddlers." Its site provides a substantial amount of research-based, practical information on a number of topics. The site is arranged in sections for "Parents" and for "Professionals" and includes a topical listing under "Parenting A-Z," journal articles, and "Tips of the Week." The most recent addition to the site is a section for military families that includes articles and resources for military families with very young children that is updated monthly.
MilitaryINSTALLATIONS This resource, available on MilitaryHOMEFRONT, provides contact information for programs and services; maps and directions; links to comprehensive location overviews; and community points of interest for military installations worldwide. Contact information for installation children and youth programs can be found under the programs or services "Child Development Center," "Children and Youth Registration and Referral," "Family Child Care/Child Development Homes," "School-Age Care," and "Youth Programs/Centers". Contact information for children and youth-related programs can be found under the programs or services "Educational and Developmental Intervention Services (EDIS)," "Exceptional Family Member Program/Special Needs," "Family Advocacy," "New Parent Support Program," "School Liaison Office/Community Schools," and "Women, Infants, and Children (WIC & WIC-O)."
United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (ACF) The ACF is responsible for federal programs that promote the economic and social well-being of families, children, individuals, and communities. The ACF website provides information and resources on a variety of topics to include services encompassing adoption, foster care, child care, child support, head start, and child abuse and neglect.