New pilot program offers extended childcare

18 Apr 2004 | Cpl. Kristen S. Gambrell

All too often a family’s child care falls through or is only available during specific hours.  A new program has been implemented to extend a helping hand to military families in need.

Enhanced Extended Child Care is a pilot program here that began in February 2004.  It was designed and funded by the Marine Corps to aid families with out-of-pocket expenses when their regularly scheduled child care is unavailable due to unexpected duty requirements, according to Marla K. Talley, administrator, Children, Youth and Teen Programs here.

The program is currently available at Marine Corps Bases Camp Pendleton, Calif., Twentynine Palms, Calif., and Henderson Hall, Washington, D.C.

Circumstances that constitute using this service are extended duty hours, family illness or a family emergency, she said.

“When one parent is the care provider while the other parent works, emergencies may still arise when the care is needed,” Talley explained.  “Care is available 24/7.”

There is no charge to the family receiving the service.  Children, Youth and Teen Programs have identified two of their family childcare home providers to be under contract to offer the extended care.  The providers are authorized to care for the child in their government quarters and they have completed all training requirements as well as background checks on themselves and the family members. 

“Parents are sometimes reluctant to take their children to a stranger's home,” Talley said. 
“I can assure them the family childcare providers who are selected to participate in this program have been carefully screened and are well-qualified to provide childcare. 

“When time permits, we offer the parent the opportunity to meet with the provider in their home for a ‘get-acquainted’ visit before the care is received,” said Talley.

Since the program started, it has been used in a few different cases.  One being when a mother got ill and needed to be hospitalized while her husband was deployed.

To access this care, parents should call 450-1500/1501 during regular business hours.  During non-working hours, parents may call the Command Duty Officer at Bldg. 1 at 451-2414/3031 and request assistance with EECC.