There's a valuable resource available to active duty, Reserve, and Guard families who are struggling financially to pay for child care during a deployment or mobilization. The National Association of Child Care and Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA) has partnered with the Services and created a subsidized child care program called Operation Military Child Care (OMCC).
How OMCC Helps Military Families
OMCC assists parents of newborns and kids through age 12, find safe, affordable child care that’s located within their civilian community.
Fee assistance to help offset the cost of child care is available for eligible families.
Your child's safety and well-being is important which is why the OMCC program has strict standards and requirements for all providers that partake in the program. For example, each provider must have a state license and have had an inspection within the past twelve months. (When applying you'll need to make sure the provider you select submits those documents.)
OMCC is available to Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps families. Although the forms differ for each branch (information for each branch is listed below) eligibility requirements are basically the same for all branches of the U.S. Military. The eligibility criteria is as follows:
1. The servicemember must be mobilized or deployed in support of:
- Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)
- Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF)
- Global War On Terror (GWOT)
- Overseas Contingency Operations
- Operation Noble Eagle
- Attached to a Ship (Navy)
2. The spouse must be employed, seeking employment, or attending school. This also applies to unmarried servicemembers. However, in order to qualify for the program, both legal parents of the child/children must be living together in the same house.
Applying for OMCC
Before filling out any paperwork the first thing you need to do is locate an approved provider. You can do this in one of two ways:
1. Call Child Care Aware at 1-800-424-2246 and receive a personal consultation about the providers in your area.
2. Search online for a pre-qualified provider. To use this option simply select your branch of service from the list below:
Important: To ensure that you find a provider that's a good match for you and your child, it's in your best interest to make a list of several providers in your area and then pay each one a visit. (When searching for a child care provider, many experts advise that parents make unscheduled, unannounced visits so they can get a better glimpse of how the center functions during standard hours of operation.)
Apply for Fee Assistance
Fee assistance is available for eligible military families. Before applying for financial assistance you'll need to gather the following documents:
- The servicemember's mobilization or deployment orders
- Servicemember's Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) for the most current 4 weeks. (If you don't receive hard copies you can print these from your myPay account.)
- Spouse's most recent pay stubs covering the past four weeks prior to applying. Self-employed spouses must submit their most recent tax return or Article of Incorporation. If you're in school, you'll need to provide your school schedule. Spouses that are seeking employment must fill out the Statement of Spouse Looking for Work form.
- Birth certificates for your child/children that you want to enroll in child care.
Once you've gathered the necessary documents you can proceed to filling out the financial assistance form. You can either create an account and complete the form online or simply download and fill out the document. (Note: If you complete the form online instead of downloading and filling out the form you will receive a $25 credit.) For detailed instructions on how to fill out your application packet and to acquire the fee assistance form, please select your branch of service:
Questions About the Program
If you have any questions related to OMCC please don't hesitate to contact Childcare Aware Specialists at 1-800-424-2246, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET.
For questions about fee assistance please call the NACCRRA Military Subsidy Department at 1-800-793-0324 or e-mail them at email@example.com.