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Immediate Release

Defense Department Increases Child Care Fees to Maintain Quality Child Care for Military Families

The Defense Department implemented annual changes to the Child Development Program Fee Policy and restructured total family income categories which determine child care fees. The policy change includes fee increases necessary to ensure the department's ability to find and keep skilled child care staff and to continue providing quality care for military children.

The DOD recognizes that in order to find and retain skilled staff and continue providing quality child care for military families, changes to the policy that guide child care fees are necessary to enhance recruitment and retention efforts.

“Most families will see a change in child care fees, but we also know our families understand the importance of ensuring the DOD is able to attract the best employees from local labor markets,” said Stacey Young, director of the Office of Military Family Readiness Policy.

The DOD Child Development Program Fee Policy prescribes uniform fee regulations for military child development centers based on total family income. DOD policy requires a minimum of 50% appropriated fund support for child development programs with revenue generated by parent fees providing the remaining 50% of operating revenue. Child care costs are shared between the DOD and families. Child care fees are evaluated each year.

Child Development Program Fee Policy changes for 2022-2023 include: 

  • The number of income categories will increase from 13 to 14, providing a more equitable division of fees based on total family income. 
  • The hourly care rate will increase from $7 to $8 per hour.
  • Military departments will increase the community provider fee assistance rate cap from $1,500 per child, per month to $1,700 per child, per month to ensure child care subsidies for military-certified family child care providers are consistent with the community provider fee assistance rate cap.

Overall, these child care fee policy changes will help enable the DOD to recruit and retain the best child development staff possible and continue to provide quality child development services to its military families.

Military families can reach out to their child development centers or school-age care programs to learn how these fee changes will impact individual households.

The Defense Department remains steadfast in its mission to provide a range of options to meet military families’ child care needs. The DOD is working to tackle the child care challenges with new strategies and programs. “These child care fee changes will ensure military parents can continue to be mission-ready knowing their children are safe, nurtured and receiving quality child development services,” said Heidi Welch, director of Children, Youth and Families for the Office of Military Family Readiness Programs. 

About Military Community and Family Policy 

Military Community and Family Policy is directly responsible for establishing and overseeing quality-of-life policies and programs that help our service members, their families and survivors be well and mission-ready. Military OneSource is the gateway to programs and services that support the everyday needs of the 5.2 million service members and immediate family members of the military community. These DOD services can be accessed 24/7/365 around the world.