WASHINGTON — Military families needing hourly child care have a new, free option for finding providers, the Pentagon announced Monday.
Military OneSource, a Defense Department website that provides services and resources to the military, is offering access to a national online service that allows families to find, hire and pay for care, according to a Pentagon statement.
Access to child care is a challenge for military families because of frequent moves, limited availability at their installations and surrounding communities, and irregular work hours.
This option is in addition to the Defense Department’s own child care system, which can be accessed at MilitaryChildCare.com. Military families can search and sign up for full-time and part-time care at DOD facilities or for home-based care.
“We are committed to taking care of our service members and military families, and understand that families may need assistance with their hourly care needs,” Kim Joiner, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for military community and family policy said in the Pentagon statement.
The database service usually charges for a monthly subscription but is being provided free to “eligible military families” through Military OneSource, according to the Pentagon. Families can sign up for their subscription through their Military OneSource account, which will provide a member code.
The Pentagon statement and Military OneSource did not include the name of the database or how much the service could be costing the Defense Department.
The database has more than a million caregivers who offer hourly, flexible and on demand child care, according to Military OneSource. Families can find providers and review their background checks, but interviews can also take place through the service.