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

The DOD recognizes that to find and retain skilled staff and continue providing quality child care for military families, changes to the policy that guides childcare 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 can 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 parent fees generating the remaining 50% of operating revenue. Childcare costs are shared between the DOD and families. Childcare 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 to ensure childcare subsidies for military-certified family childcare providers are consistent with the community provider fee assistance rate cap.

Overall, these child care fee policy changes will help the DOD recruit and retain the best child development staff possible and continue providing 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 providing various options to meet military families’ childcare needs. The DOD is working to tackle 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. 

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