FORT LEE, Va. (WRIC) – A new website for Fort Lee parents touts fewer waiting lines, less paperwork and greater awareness of available programs.
Endorsed by the Department of Defense, MilitaryChildCare.com is a “single gateway that makes it easier for parents to research options and get on waiting lists for military-operated and military-subsidized child care, whether it’s at their current installation or before they move to a new duty station,” read a recent MilitaryTimes.com report.
The site is not location or service specific.
When it becomes fully implemented, the website will provide parents with child care options worldwide and across all branches of service. About 120 installations are expected to be part of the network by the end of March.
“Having this site, will allow Fort Lee Child, Youth and School Services (CYSS) to have one program to manage the waitlist,” said Rachel Lowe, CYSS Outreach Services director. “Our staff will be able to see real-time statistics and better inform our parents about availability and waiting times for child care slots.”
The site allows users who create an account to maintain a family profile, which can be accessed any time from any location. By automating the process, CYSS facilities can drastically reduce enrollment form and registration paperwork requirements.
“It’s one more step in easing the transition process for military families,” Lowe said. “Additionally, having that information ready to go means families can immediately place their child on a waiting list as soon as they need care. The site will help them gain a space in our facilities as long as they request care in advance.”
Through the site, families can search for and enroll in full-day and part-day care programs, including in-home-providers who can accommodate children from birth through age 12.
Families may remain on a preferred program’s wait list even after being offered care or enrolling in another program. Those at Fort Lee who are currently on wait lists will be automatically transitioned to the new web-based system. These families will retain the original date of their request ore requests for care, and all program enrollment processes will remain the same.
Youth Summer Camp registration will run differently because of the new site. The priority sign up period for those who have children already enrolled in CYSS programs takes place April 4 through April 9. All others will have an opportunity to register their kids for the camp between April 25 and April 29.
“Patrons in the past have been able to wait in line at Parent Central Services and slots were filled on a first-come, first-served basis,” Lowe said. “This year, it is imperative all patrons understand that in order to register their child for camp they must go online and create an account ahead of time. They can begin doing this after March 9.”
Eligibility for CYSS activities starts with military families, followed by DOD Civilian employees and contractors when space is available, Lowe noted.
Those who would like to learn more about MilitaryChildCare.com are encouraged to read its frequently asked questions document, accessible via the link at the top of the website’s opening page. If you encounter problems with sign-up, contact the site’s help desk at 855-696-2934 or send an email to FamilySupport@MilitaryChildCare.com.