Expanded Hourly Child Care Service – Call Center Talking Points

Child care provider in home

To help meet the growing and diverse needs of military parents, the Department of Defense is proud to offer an expanded child care service for members and their families. Through Military OneSource, military families now have free access to a national database of more than a million caregivers so they can find hourly, flexible and on-demand child care.

Background for expanded hourly child care service

Child care is a workforce issue that directly impacts the readiness and retention of the total force. Lack of child care options has been connected to challenges for spouse employment and increased stress.  Some evidence suggests it also impacts retention decisions.

The Department of Defense offers more options to support the need for hourly child care

As part of its ongoing commitment to help military families thrive, The Department of Defense is introducing a new way for military families to find child care for hourly, flexible and on-demand needs.

By expanding child care options, the Department of Defense helps:

  • Support the growing and diverse needs of military families
  • Increase the number of military families who receive support
  • Ensure force readiness and lethality

Benefits of the expanded hourly child care service

The nationally recognized online subscription service is:

  • Easy to access
  • Fee-free through Military OneSource for anyone eligible for Military OneSource services
    (visit MilitaryOneSource.mil to learn more)
  • Convenient and flexible

Parents can:

  • Access a database of more than a million care providers
  • Search at their convenience for care that meets their own needs and criteria
  • Find potential care providers
  • Check references
  • Review background checks
  • Interview, hire and pay providers on their terms

How can parents access the expanded hourly child care service?

The new caregiver search service is available 24/7/365 through Military OneSource. Parents can visit the Expanded Hourly Child Care Options page and click “Log in to access.” If they already have a Military OneSource account, they can log in. If not, they will need to create one. From there, they will be directed to Military OneSource Member Connect, where they will receive a unique member code and a link to the child care service site. Parents can then create their login and begin searching for child care. In the future, they can return directly to the child care service’s homepage to access care and search for providers.

Expanded hourly child care service complements existing programs

This online service is available in addition to existing child care options such as:

For more information about military child care programs, parents can visit the Military OneSource Military Child Care Programs page

 

The Department of Defense Offers Expanded Hourly Child Care Service

Military dad kisses baby girl

High-quality, affordable child care is critical for military parents. But the type of child care they need can vary widely. Some families need regular full-time care, other families need more flexible, on-demand services, and some families need both.

To help meet the growing and diverse needs of military parents, the Department of Defense is proud to offer an expanded child care service. Through Military OneSource, military families have free access to a national database of more than a million caregivers so they can find hourly, flexible and on-demand child care. Take advantage of it today. Whether you are looking for in-home child care, a nanny or a babysitter, the search service connects you to the child care resources you need.

The nationally recognized online subscription service lets you:

  • Search for care that fits your own needs and criteria
  • Find potential care providers and view their profiles
  • Check references
  • Review background checks
  • Interview, hire and pay providers on your terms

How to access the free online service

Use your Military OneSource account to set up your free access to the child care service. Log in to your existing account or create an account to get a unique subscription code and establish your child care service account.

For more information about the online caregiver search service, and to register, visit the Military OneSource Expanded Hourly Child Care Options page.

Existing child care options

The online search service is available in addition to existing military child care options such as:

  • Finding full-time, on-installation care through MilitaryChildCare.com
  • Receiving child care fee assistance for off-installation care through the Department of Defense community-based fee assistance program administered through Child Care Aware of America

Learn more about Military Child Care Programs on Military OneSource. You can also contact your installation child development center for information about on-installation programs

Questions? Contact Military OneSource

Have a question about the expanded hourly child care service or need help getting started? Military OneSource consultants are specially trained to help service members and their families set up accounts and get started researching child care options. Reach out 24/7 to schedule a consultation. Call 800-342-9647, use OCONUS dialing options or set up a live chat

Top Military OneSource Parenting Resources

Military father shopping for diapers

Military parents have busy lives juggling work, children, house, carpool, groceries and meals, along with PCS and deployment. Military OneSource understands and is here to help. We do your homework for you. We highlight the latest parenting resources, information and advice so that you don’t have to spend hours looking for answers during your downtime. Your Military Family Readiness System, through the Military OneSource website, has some of the best parenting resources out there.

New baby? Child with special needs? Bored teenager? There are resources for these situations and many others. Check out the top resources for busy parents on the Military OneSource website:

  • Military OneSource Parenting and Children page — Visit this page to find great information on adoption, parenting skills and child development stages, as well tips for dealing with grief and loss, divorce, bullies, routines and discipline.
  • New Parent Support Program — New and expecting parents can build a network of support with the New Parent Support Program. Manage those first few years with access to trained staff who can answer parenting questions, provide home visits or even set you up with supervised playgroups and parenting classes.
  • Thrive online parenting-education program — Questions about parenting? We all have them. That’s why the Department of Defense partnered with the Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness at Penn State to develop a free online parenting-education program. Find out how Thrive can help you raise healthy, resilient children from birth to 18.
  • Exceptional Family Member Program — Don’t go it alone. If you have a child with special needs, check out the Exceptional Family Member Program page on Military OneSource. Read a collection of articles with specific assistance and resources for military family members with special needs.
  • Military child care programs — Child care that’s high quality and affordable? Yes, please. This article explains how to locate quality, affordable child care in your community, both on and off the installation.
  • Safe sleep environments for your infant — Learn how to teach your child good sleeping habits by setting a bedtime routine and making your infant’s sleeping environment safe.
  • Department of Defense child and youth programs — Explore a wide range of Department of Defense child and youth programs, which can help your child make friends, stay active and develop new skills.
  • Morale, Welfare and Recreation — Need some fresh and fun ideas for family activities or your next family trip? Connect with your MWR program. From fitness and sports to tickets and travel, MWR has something for everyone. Visit MilitaryINSTALLATIONS to locate your local MWR and get active and have fun with your family.

Parenting is easier and more fun when you have a network of support. Let Military OneSource help you get connected

Resources for Military Parents As COVID-19 Continues

Child writing on whiteboard with mom looking on

Current as of Oct. 1, 2020


Parents are facing a variety of new and ongoing challenges as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Virus conditions keep changing, and work and school schedules vary. It’s easy to feel stressed about making the best choices for your family, and bogged down by decision fatigue.

Military OneSource is committed to helping families thrive during these challenging times. Whether you are looking for official updates from government agencies, information about virtual learning, flexible child care, or tips for taking care of yourself and your family, we’ve got you covered. Check out the following resources.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention resources

The CDC offers extensive resources for keeping families healthy as COVID-19 continues. The latest CDC guidance includes everything from school planning to preparing for daily activities such as running errands, playing sports, social gatherings and much more. Check out the CDC’s:

Department of Education resources

The Department of Education also offers a variety of resources to ensure students can continue to pursue their educational goals during the pandemic:

  • Resources for learning at home with links for activities from the Library of Congress, NASA, the Kennedy Space Center, the Smithsonian Institution and more
  • Pandemic relief measures in place through Dec. 31, 2020, for those who currently have Department of Education-held federal student loans

Distance learning and general wellness resources

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry provides a wide variety of resources for helping kids and parents. Links include guidelines for talking to kids about COVID-19, stress management for teens, support for parents of children with disabilities, online educational activities for kids and more.

The Department of Defense Education Activity also offers a comprehensive list of parent resources including:

  • Guidance on returning to school, with information on virtual learning options, health and safety, and frequently asked questions and answers
  • Extensive links for activities for students at home for children in prekindergarten through fifth grade, such as:
    • DODEA activities in math, science, social studies and language arts­­
    • Ideas for indoor and outdoor physical activities
    • Recipes and experiments from America’s Test Kitchen Kids
    • Programs such as EarSketch and ScratchJr that teach computer coding skills
    • Best Virtual Events with concerts, story times and classes to stream from home
    • SciShow and Sick Science! for fun science activities
    • Online museum tours, field trips, jigsaw puzzles and much more

Military OneSource resources

Learn about more COVID-19 resources on the Military OneSource COVID-19 page. Find information about a wide range of military family topics, including:

If you have questions about COVID-19 issues or any other aspect of military life, Military OneSource consultants are available to help 24/7/365. Call 800-342-9647, use OCONUS dialing options or schedule a live chat.

Understanding of COVID-19 continues to change, so check our Coronavirus Updates for Our Military Community page. Want to find the phone number for your installation’s housing office or Military and Family Support Center? Find those and more on MilitaryINSTALLATIONS, an online information directory for military installations worldwide. For updates and information specific to your location, visit your installation’s official website. You can also follow your installation’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram platforms.

For Department of Defense updates for the military community:

What Schools Are Available to Children on Military Installations?

Kids running out of school.

When it’s time to relocate, it’s important to know what education opportunities are available for your children at the new installation. The Department of Defense is committed to making sure all military children have the opportunity for a quality education that prepares them for success.

More than 69,000 school-aged military children are enrolled in the 160 Department of Defense Education Activity, or DODEA, schools around the world. The rest are enrolled in public or private schools or in home-school programs. Schools on installations are either DODEA schools or public schools.

Our DODEA schools

Our DODEA schools are 100% accredited and grouped into three geographic areas:

  • DODEA Americas: More than 21,000 students are enrolled in 50 schools in Alabama, Cuba, Georgia, Kentucky, New York, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina and Virginia.
  • DODEA Europe: On the continent, 64 schools serve more than 25,000 students in Bahrain, Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
  • DODEA Pacific: In this region, 45 schools in Guam, Japan, Okinawa and South Korea serve more than 22,000 students.

The DODEA Virtual High School is another education option, offering a variety of online academic and career-oriented courses that meet all DODEA graduation requirements.

Public schools on military installations

Currently, 161 public schools operate on military installations across the United States. Department of Defense strategies make sure that both public schools on military installations and DODEA schools comply with quality standards.

These documents have more information about Department of Defense strategies:

Visit the DODEA site to learn more about education opportunities for military children.

Back-to-School Planning During COVID-19

Two students with masks physically distancingImage source: https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/photo/african-descent-girl-on-school-campus-mask-for-royalty-free-image/1251048576?adppopup=true

Current as of October 8, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, parents and students may be facing new uncertainties. Conditions across the world differ widely and continue to change rapidly. In addition, school reopening policies vary and often include instruction and scheduling options. With so many unknowns, making decisions as a parent can be difficult.

One resilience skill we have learned from life in recent months is to focus less on what we can’t control, and more on what we can. And what can we control right now? We can continue to stay informed and practice proven safety measures, and encourage our children to do the same. Evidence shows that safety measures like physical distancing, face coverings and improved hygiene such as frequent hand-washing and disinfecting commonly used surfaces reduce transmission of COVID-19.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidelines for how to safely reopen schools. For detailed information see the following resources and check with your local school district. Your installation school liaison office can provide information and connect you to your local school district:

Back-to-school planning

If your child’s school is reopening and you want to start getting ready, here are some general tips:

  • Talk with your child. Starting school, or a new school year, can be stressful in the best of times. Make sure your child knows it’s OK to be nervous. Try these Red Cross tips for talking to kids about COVID-19 and keeping them healthy.
  • Discuss new policies and safety guidelines. First-time students may be fine with the new procedures. Returning students may need extra time and attention to get used to all the changes. Be sure to explain the need for safety measures, but try to highlight what’s exciting – like being able to see friends again and learn new things. And you can help your child build resilience by encouraging them to look at difficulties as challenges and chances for them to grow.
  • Adjust the schedule. Start to tweak your child’s daily schedule a couple of weeks before the first day of school. Making bedtimes earlier and screen times shorter can help your child develop a healthy morning routine and get ready for the new school year.
  • Check the program. If your child has an individualized education program, review services he or she will receive. Learn about any changes due to new safety guidelines, and talk with your child about them. If you are moving and your child will be attending a new school, check your child’s services there before your move. If you have questions or need backup, your installation Exceptional Family Member Program Family Support staff and special needs consultants can help you identify additional resources and tools your child can use to succeed.
  • Plan around sales. Know when the tax holiday on school supplies will be, and plan accordingly. Look for the supplies list for your child’s classes on the school’s website or ask for one at local office-supply stores. And remember, every day is a tax holiday at the commissary and exchange.
  • Discuss clothes. Chat with your child about what they want to wear before you buy it. This way, you’ll avoid purchasing and returning clothing your child won’t wear, and these small decision-making exercises can help children make larger decisions down the road.

Educational resources

Take advantage of online educational resources. Help your kids get back into a school mindset as they reinforce reading skills, learn stress-management practices, build a paper Mars helicopter or participate in youth programs online. Resources include:

  • The Morale, Welfare and Recreation Digital Library offers an amazing variety of education and entertainment resources for all ages. Programs include BookFlix, Explora Primary, Mango Languages and many more. The Teachables program offers printable activities for children pre-K through grade 6.
  • Tutor.com provides live, on-demand tutoring, test preparation and homework help in more than 100 subjects, for students in kindergarten through college.
  • Thrive is a free, online parenting-education program from a Department of Defense partnership with the Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness at Penn State. It offers evidence-based, positive-parenting practices for children from birth to age 18. Check out its downloadable resources for stress reduction, healthy eating and physical activities.
  • Sesame Street for Military Families offers a variety of resources including activities, games, videos and the Breathe, Think, Do wellness app.
  •  Helping Your Child Become a Reader provides tips from the U.S. Department of Education for parents of young children.
  • NASA STEM has a wide variety of science, math, engineering and technology ideas for students in kindergarten through college to encourage the next generation of explorers.
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of America Virtual Club currently offers 11 programs youths can participate in via the MyFuture social platform. Programs include Digital Literacy Essentials, Media Making, Computer Science, Visual Arts and more.
  • Making School Fun at Home offers helpful tips from the Boys & Girls Clubs of America for supporting learning at home for children of all ages.

Talk with an education consultant

If you would like to talk to an expert about educational concerns, Military OneSource offers free and confidential one-on-one sessions with professionals knowledgeable about education resources. Find out how to Ease Back-to-School Transitions With a Military OneSource Education Consultant.

COVID-19 continues to create challenges, and Military OneSource is here to help. Consultants are available 24/7 anywhere in the world to help you stay strong while you navigate military life. No matter what kind of questions or concerns you have, you can call us at 800-342-9647, call OCONUS or start a live chat.

Understanding of COVID-19 continues to change, so check our Coronavirus Updates for Our Military Community page. Want to find the phone number for your installation’s housing office or Military and Family Support Center? Find those and more on MilitaryINSTALLATIONS, an online information directory for military installations worldwide. For updates and information specific to your location, visit your installation’s official website. You can also follow your installation’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram platforms.

For Department of Defense updates for the military community:

Reach out for support

Military OneSource education consultants can help you ease back-to-school transitions.

Caring for a Deployed Service Member’s Child

A mother smiles at her child eating icecream

The information contained on this website is designed to educate and inform service members and their families on their personal legal affairs. Nothing contained in the website is a substitute for the competent legal advice of a licensed attorney. Service members and their families seeking legal advice should consult the staff of the nearest installation Legal Assistance Office.

Caring for a child of a deployed service member is an opportunity to serve the country in a unique way. Like most things, a little preparation and the right information will go a long way toward ensuring a smooth transition.

Before the service member deploys, make sure you understand the wishes of the service member and the children and some of the challenges you may encounter. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Be sure to have a copy of the service member’s family care plan.
  • Use resources available through the Military Family Readiness System.
  • Reach out when you need help — it’s available.

Designated caregivers need to know how to access military resources, especially if they’re not familiar with military life. Resources and support are available through the Military Family Readiness System — a network of programs, support services, people and agencies. To find the nearest Military and Family Support Center, visit MilitaryINSTALLATIONS or call Military OneSource at 800-342-9647. OCONUS/International? Click here for calling options.

Day-to-day help

Here are a few support services that may help:

  • Commissary and exchanges — Bring your agent letter of authorization and a family member’s identification card to shop for children in your care.
  • Children and youth programs — Programs for children, teens and after-school care are available.
  • Military treatment facilities — Military treatment facilities are available for a sick or injured child. Find the closest facility through MilitaryINSTALLATIONS or contact TRICARE for an approved medical provider. You will need your power of attorney to receive services.
  • Legal assistance — If you need legal assistance, contact the Armed Forces Legal Assistance Locator to find out where to go.
  • Leisure and recreational activities— Check out the Morale, Welfare and Recreation program and what it has to offer for relaxation and adventure. Go to MilitaryINSTALLATIONS to locate yours and learn about specific programs.

Kids and coping

These are resources for children who need support and assistance:

Let us help you

Caregiving is an important job. Visit Military OneSource or call 800-342-9647, 24/7, to:

  • Receive referrals to support services and counseling
  • Get confidential non-medical counseling for issues related to your care-provider role.
  • Locate free articles, booklets, CDs and videos on Military OneSource that will support you in your role.

You can do it and we’re here to help.

The information contained on this website is designed to educate and inform service members and their families on their personal legal affairs. Nothing contained in the website is a substitute for the competent legal advice of a licensed attorney. Service members and their families seeking legal advice should consult the staff of the nearest installation Legal Assistance Office.

Special Education and Child Care – The Essentials

Child with Special Needs Playing

It takes a lot of involvement to make sure a family member with special needs gets the right education and care. It also requires good communication with child care providers and school administrators and teachers. How can you make sure special education or child care is working for you and your child? Here are some essentials:

Learn about child care options.

You want to find the right care for your child with special needs. The military offers quality, affordable child care with options both on installation and off. We can help you find the best fit for your child and your family. Find out more with EFMP & Me or with these resources:

Relevant Articles:

Relevant Resources:

  • MilitaryChildCare.com. This site streamlines your child care search. It lets you access options and make informed decisions about your child’s care.
  • Military Respite Care. This offers fee assistance to eligible military families through the individual service programs. It also offers a child care search as well as information on resources for military spouses who provide child care.
  • Education Directory for Children With Special Needs. This gives you information to help with assignment decisions and less stressful transitions.
  • EFMP & Me. This tool provides information and resources tailored to your needs, including a child care checklist. It’s online and available 24/7. A must-use tool for every military family with special needs members.

Find information and tips to support you – download the Special Needs Parent Tool Kit

This toolkit from the Department of Defense provides information for you and your child with special needs. Learn about early intervention services and find help during relocation. Understand educational rights granted by the Americans with Disabilities Act and much more.

Relevant Articles:

Relevant Resources:

Create your education roadmap. Get an Individual Education Program.

The first step in any special education plan is developing an Individual Education Program, or IEP. After an evaluation, an IEP becomes a roadmap you can take with you. It lays out the instruction and services to help your child succeed. The sooner you get started, the better.

Make sure your child’s IEP stays current. When you move, give a copy of the IEP to your child’s new school. Work hand-in-hand with the school to support your child’s transition and to implement the IEP. The new school’s services may not look exactly like their previous school. However, they are required to provide comparable services.

Relevant Articles:

Relevant Resources:

Call Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 or live chat to schedule an appointment with a special needs consultant. Appointments are available seven days a week.