Posts Tagged Military Child Care
By Lisa Daniel
Oct. 11, 2012
The Defense Department is taking internship applications for a program that expands the availability of child care and youth programs, while also giving a leg up to jobseekers in that field, especially military spouses.
DOD and the Agriculture Department formed the Military Extension Internship Partnership in 2010 in concert with a major construction project that started in 2008 to accommodate the growing requests for child care and youth programs, Barbara Thompson, director of DOD’s Office of Family Policy/Children and Youth, told me recently.
“We thought the program up because we had huge child care growth,” she said. “We were going through a big construction program and increasing the number of child development spaces and we knew we needed to do something on the employment side. We wanted to be grooming our staff along the way so we would have experienced people to take on the role of management.”
The MEIP is taking applications for summer internships between Nov. 30 and Jan. 31 on its website. Read the rest of this entry »
Guest blogger Lisa Daniel is Elaine Sanchez’s colleague at American Forces Press Service. – Elaine Sanchez
By Lisa Daniel
May 16, 2011
Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick, the Army’s deputy chief of staff for personnel, appeared on Capitol Hill earlier this spring along with other service leaders to report on the military’s state of readiness, including the health of the troops. The news mostly was good (see my article “Caring for People Aids Readiness, Official Says”). Despite 10 years of war, recruiting, retention and morale remain strong.
But Bostick’s assessment came with a warning of a troubling trend. The obesity crisis sweeping America has gone beyond health problems for individuals to threatening our nation’s military readiness. That’s because fewer than 30 percent of 17- to 24-year-olds are eligible to serve because they can’t meet physical or educational requirements, Bostick said. A big reason for that: one in five young people are overweight, compared to one in 20 in the 1960s, he said.
“As a nation, together, we must continue to address these concerns,” he said.
Bostick is not the first leader to sound alarms over America’s obesity problem. First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign has brought the issue into the national spotlight, as well as publicity from doctors, dieticians and others who share their concerns with the media.
There is no shortage of resources aimed at helping people maintain a healthy weight. Many volumes have been written on the values of counting calories — or, more recently, counting carbohydrates — and maintaining regular exercise. Weight loss clinics make millions of dollars by helping people manage their food, drink and exercise.
Even with all this, we remain a nation overweight. Unfortunately, knowledge of a problem isn’t always enough to effect change. Sometimes it takes an emergency.
My family discovered this in January when my 7-year-old daughter was diagnosed with Type 1, or “juvenile,” diabetes. Unlike Type II diabetes, or “adult-onset” that can be caused by obesity, Type I is an autoimmune disease that destroys the pancreas’ ability to produce insulin. Natalie was not overweight; as she lamented in the hospital, she eats healthier than many children her age. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by in Family Matters on April 21, 2011
April 21, 2011
Army reservist Amy McLaughlin had a lot to handle over the course of one year. She and her husband separated, she had to move her family across country, and her son was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder.
Fortunately, she said, her children have one of the traits so common among military kids: resilience.
Read about Amy’s challenges and the strength that enables her to overcome them in her article, “Changes and Challenges Create Army Strong Kids.”
by Carol L. Bowers
Jan. 18, 2011
As the new national health care reform law extends parent’s health insurance to their children up to age 26, TRICARE plans to roll out its new Young Adult Program by springtime.
The new program will allow qualified, unmarried military children up to age 26 to buy health care coverage under their parents’ TRICARE plans through age 26. Even with a later start, TRICARE plans to provide an option to make coverage retroactive to Jan. 1.
Read more in my colleague Donna Miles’ article “TRICARE to Extend Dependent Coverage to Age 26.”
By Elaine Wilson
Dec. 13, 2010
A recurring challenge for military families, particularly those of the Guard and Reserve, is child care. They primarily live off base, many far from an active-duty installation, and are challenged to find the same high-quality, flexible care in their community that they would find on any base nationwide.
To better provide for these families, Defense Department officials will launch an initiative early next year designed to expand the quality and quantity of community-based child care options. DOD will work with federal agencies, state officials and child care centers and programs to raise the quality of care within communities, which is expected to translate to an increased child care capacity for military families who are geographically separated or facing long waits for on-base care.
For all of the details on this initiative, read my American Forces Press Service article “DOD Expands Community-based Child Care Options.”
Dec. 10, 2010
I’m pleased to introduce a new Family Matters guest blogger, Debbie Nichols, a military mom and grandma. Her daughter, Tech. Sgt. Erin Caldwell, is in the Air Force, and she has two grandchildren, Ivie and Bailey. Debbie cared for her grandchildren when her daughter, a single mom at the time, deployed to Afghanistan, and will continue to support them and her new son-in-law when her daughter deploys again in the coming year.
In this blog, Debbie introduces us to her family and her daughter’s military service, and also passes on some tips about taking on the role of parent again years after her last child left the roost.
By Debbie Nichols
I am a married working mother with two grown children and two grandchildren. I was raised in a civilian lifestyle, totally unaware of what military life was like.
When our daughter joined the Air Force in the 90s, life in the military was different from today. At that time she was married and planning on having a family. She moved around to different military bases, but her job kept her in the United States. She went to job trainings, but deployment was not one of her concerns.
In 2006, our daughter divorced, and she transferred to a base so she could to be close to our family. She was now a single parent and had to make decisions about who would take care of her children if something happened to her. She asked my husband and me if we would be the guardians to her children, and of course we said yes.
When she transferred to Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., in 2007, her career changed and she told us she was deployable. I told her not to worry, that we would help in every way possible. As a mom you are always reassuring your children, and I really did not think twice about what deployment really entailed. Our daughter had attended job trainings in the past that took her away from home two to eight weeks at a time. We helped take care of the children, but for limited amounts of time. Since she always lived out of state and I worked, we were limited in how much we could do.
Then, in December 2007, my daughter called and said she had received orders to go to Afghanistan and had 30 days to prepare. She informed me that I needed to schedule a day to come pick up her children.
I was in shock! I thought, “Oh my gosh, she is leaving.” My husband and I will be our granddaughters’ guardians and we are going to parents again, raising 6- and 10-years-olds. What’s more, we were going to have to move the children from Arizona to California. Read the rest of this entry »
by Elaine Wilson
Nov. 23, 2010
Army wife Sarah Hertig knows she can’t predict who will come along and sweep her daughter off her feet in the years to come. But just in case it’s a soldier, she wrote a letter to her daughter to share the incredible highs and the heartbreaking lows of military life. And she shared that letter with the world during a TEDxPentagon event called “Human Stories” that was broadcast live online earlier this week. Read about her touching letter and the partriotism that shores her up through the tough times.
Just as spouses must prepare for their servicemembers’ reintegration after a year-long deployment, children also need help preparing for mom or dad’s return.
At Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield, Ga., the Army Community Service has taken the popular puppet show “Sgt. Rocky’s Neighborhood,” which prepares children for deployment, to a new level to help them cope with homecomings, too. Read about this great program in “Reintegration: ACS Puppet Program Prepares Children for Homecoming.”
Posted by in Family Matters on August 2, 2010
by Elaine Wilson, AFPS
Aug. 2, 2010
When I was in the Air Force, I was always grateful for military child care, particularly when stationed overseas. As a single mother, it not only was affordable, but the best child care around.
Defense officials always have strived to keep child care costs low and quality high for our military parents.
To keep that quality high, officials have decided to adjust child care fees, mainly to compensate for six years without a fee range increase. The changes follow two years of study that determined the fees weren’t in line with inflation and family income, explained Barbara Thompson, director of the Defense Department’s Office of Family Policy, Children and Youth.
“We understand that these are tough economic times for families, but we did this very deliberately after careful study,” Thompson said in an American Forces Press Service article, “Child Care Fees Change to Maintain Quality Service,” written by Lisa Daniel. “When you look at what you’re getting for your child care fees, it’s a wonderful opportunity in a high-quality care environment.”
Read the rest of this entry »
May 11, 2010
I wanted to share a great article, written by Air Force Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke of the National Guard Bureau, about National Guard children and the programs and activities that are available to them.
I hope our National Guard families find this a valuable resource:
By Air Force Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke
National Guard Bureau
Guard kids differ from active duty kids in only one way: access — access to support programs and access to peers who understand what they are going through.
Everything else is the same: missing their parents terribly when they deploy, counting the days until they come home and trying to keep their promise to “stay strong.”
Caylee Deakin was 13 when her father deployed with the Army National Guard. Read the rest of this entry »