Army Fee Assistance Program
Due to the effects of COVID-19, operational changes have been made so that we can continue to support Army Families; however, the Army Fee Assistance program may experience delays in processing times. To support Families, the AFA Program will make the following changes, effective until further notice. Please view our Policy Updates for more information.
Get Help Finding and Paying for Child Care
Thank you for your interest in the Army fee assistance programs offered through Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA). If you do not have access to an on-base child care provider, you may be eligible to participate in one of our child care fee assistance programs.
Army Child Care Fee Assistance was created to provide authorized Reserve and Active Duty personnel assistance in locating, selecting, and offsetting the cost of civilian child care when on-base child care is not available or a viable option for the service member and their family. The programs available through CCAoA provide subsidies for eligible military dependents enrolled in quality commercial child care programs throughout the United States. Child Care Aware® of America authorizes subsidy amounts based on Total Family Income (TFI) for those eligible Army families, and supplies monthly payments directly to the prospective child care provider. The Army Fee Assistance Subsidy is the difference between what the Sponsor would pay for on-post child care and the community-based child care provider’s rate, up to a provider rate cap of $1500 per child per month. The Army Sponsor is responsible for the DoD-established parent fees that sponsors pay on post, and any amount over the provider rate cap of $1500. If you would like more information on your parent fees, please call 1-800-424-2246 to speak to a representative at CCAoA. For more information on provider rate caps and fee assistance calculations, please click here.
In order to participate in the Army Fee Assistance Program, non-school age children must be enrolled in a minimum of 16 hours of care per week. School-age children must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 hours of care per week during the school year and a minimum of 16 hours of care per week during summer break.
Army fee assistance does not cover the drop-in care for non-school age children or school-age children on breaks (winter/spring break, snow days, holidays, etc.). Care must be consistent and must have a fixed schedule.
Army Fee Assistance Policy Updates
Periodically, there will be updates to policies and eligibility for the Army Fee Assistance Program. These policy changes will be updated directly on this webpage. In addition, you may find a list of all policy updates here.
Parents, please follow the steps below.
Step One: Determine Your Eligibility
Active Duty/Deployed Active Duty
Guard/Reserve activated under Title 10 or Title 32 Federal orders
Guard/Reserve activated deployed under Title 10 or Title 32 Federal orders
Guard Technicians/Reserve Technicians
Step Two: Select a Qualifying Program & Child Care Provider
Military Child Care in Your Neighborhood – Active Duty Soldiers, DA Civilians, Activated Guard/Reserve, Guard/Reserve Technicians
Operation Military Child Care – Deployed Active Duty Soldiers, Recruiter, Deployed Guard/Reserve
Respite Care – Wounded Warriors, Rotational Forces, Deployed
Read more about these programs.
Step Three: Collect Necessary Supporting Documents
Spouse paystubs/school schedule
Statement of Non-Availability
Provider Application documents
Check out the details on the documents you need.
Step Four: Apply Online & Upload Your Documents
Step Five: Document Review
If additional documentation is needed to complete your application, your Child Care Coordinator will contact you via email to request additional information. The processing time for your application may vary and is dependent upon the timely submission and receipt of ALL required family and child care provider documents. For more information about the process, check out the links below:
Fee Assistance Timeline
How Fee Assistance is Calculated
Why Accredited Care is Important
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For additional assistance, contact:
|Department||Phone Number||Fax Number||Contact|
|Child Care Aware®||1(800) 424-2246||(703) 341-4101||Please click here.|
|Fee Assistance||1(800) 424-2246||(703) firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Payments||1(800) 793-0324||(703) email@example.com|
|Provider Services||1(800) 424-2246||(703) firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Conflict Resolution||1(844) 658-1747|
Operation Military Child Care (OMCC)
The Operation Military Child Care program provides fee assistance for families of service men and women with a status of Deployed, Recruiter, or Deployed Guard/Recruiter. Active duty orders are required to be submitted with the application for verification purposes. Guard and Reserves must be on orders for a minimum of 30 consecutive days.
Eligible providers for the OMCC fee assistance program must have a state child care license, a state inspection report dated within the last 12 months, and they must submit a complete provider fee assistance application. Scroll down to the Frequently Requested Forms section below for additional information regarding the provider application and eligibility materials.
To search for eligible OMCC child care providers who are already enrolled in the program, click here. Once you have located a provider, please contact us to verify their eligibility (1-800-424-2246).
Effective 7 April 2017, the Army Fee Assistance Program will adopt the “Continuity of Care” model. Families currently participating in the Army Fee Assistance program who received temporary approval to use licensed-only care will be eligible to continue care with their approved provider. This means that families who are approved to use their provider will not have to change providers upon expiration of their signed approval letter to find MCCYN eligible care.
Families may ONLY use the provider that they have been approved for. In addition, the approved child care provider must continue to meet fee assistance eligibility requirements to receive payment. If you need to make changes to your child care provider please contact Child Care Aware® of America at (800) 424-2246.
New families who are applying to the program for the first time and that meet MCCYN eligibility requirements are required to select a child care provider that is eligible for the MCCYN program. Child Care Aware® of America is able to assist you in locating a provider who meets MCCYN eligibility. In order for a child care search to be conducted, care must start within 90 days of your request.
Military Child Care in Your Neighborhood (MCCYN)
The Military Child Care in Your Neighborhood program provides fee assistance for families of Active Duty Sponsors, Civilians, Guard/Reservist, and Guard/Reserve Technicians who are unable to access on-installation child care. Guard and Reserves must be on orders for a minimum of 30 consecutive days.
Eligible providers for the MCCYN fee assistance program must have a state child care license, a state inspection report dated within the last 12 months, a complete provider fee assistance application, and must meet additional high quality accreditation standards (for more information on provider qualifications, click here).
To search for eligible MCCYN providers who are already enrolled in the program, click here. Once you have located a provider, please contact us to verify their eligibility (1-800-424-2246).
Army Respite Care
The Army Respite program provides no-cost, hourly child care to support the unique child care needs for Army Families who meet certain criteria. Per the Army’s implementation of FRAGO 01 Update to Execution Order 300-16, Respite Care is available for the following Service Members:
- Criteria 1: Deployed Contingency Operation
- Criteria 2: Wounded Warriors (must be assigned to a WTU or WTB)
- Criteria 3: Rotational Forces
- Criteria 4: Deployed Non-Contingency Operation
Effective November 1, 2017, the following are no longer eligible for Respite Care. For more information on this policy update, please click here.
- Survivors of Fallen Warriors
- Army Recruiters
- ROTC Cadet Cadre (trainer)
For Service Members with eligible deployment orders, families are eligible for up to 16 hours of no-cost, hourly child care per child per month. Respite care pays up to $10 per hour for the first child and up to $5 per hour for any additional child, up to a cap of $15 total per hour.
Respite care can be used for any of the following:
- Attending appointments
- Running errands
- Taking a much-needed break
- Nights, weekends, and overnight care
- Respite care may also be used during the day, but it must be outside of the regularly subsidized care if the family already participates in the Army Fee Assistance Program
Respite Family Eligibility
Service Members must submit the following documents to determine eligibility:
- Orders and/or Deployment Verification Form
- Online Application or paper copy of the Army Respite Child Care Parent Application
- Child(ren)’s Birth Certificate or Self-Certification Form
- For Service Members who are a single parent: Must provide a Power of Attorney (POA) and the POA’s contact information
The spouse/second parent does not have to be working, going to school, or looking for work to qualify for the Respite Care program.
Respite Provider Eligibility
- Provider must fill out a Provider Respite Application and be willing to provide an hourly rate for the families interested in using the facility for Respite Care
- Provider must submit the supporting documents listed on the Provider Respite Application if not already a part of the Fee Assistance Programs
- Provider must be able to provide care in 2-hour increments
- Care can be used at different times for a family with multiple children
Supporting documentation for proof of eligibility may vary by program. Below is a list of commonly required documentation:
- Self Certification Form for children listed on the application, or a copy of each child’s birth certificate (children eligible for fee assistance must be listed as a legal dependent in the sponsor’s DEERS. Fee assistance programs are provided for children ages birth through 12 years).
- Parent Signature Page – This parent/guardian legal certification form ensures all families participating in the fee assistance program understand the terms and conditions of the programs. Please check all boxes on this form, sign, date, and return with your application. Digital Signatures are not accepted.
- Spouse/Non-Military Parent information (applies to unmarried parents living in the same household) If the spouse/non-military parent is employed, one month’s worth of pay stubs with verification that they are working between 16-40 hours per week is required. To be eligible for part-time fee assistance, the spouse/non-military parent must be working 16-24 hours per week. To be eligible for full-time fee assistance, the spouse/non-military parent must be working 25+ hours per week. If they are unable to provide pay stubs due to recent employment, please have their supervisor complete the Employment Verification Form for a 60 day approval period while we wait for the spouse/non-military parent to submit one month’s worth of their pay stubs. If a spouse is on maternity leave, please have their employer complete the Maternity Leave Verification Form.
- For spouses/non-military parents who do not have a traditional work schedule, please click here for more information.
- If the spouse/non-military parent is enrolled in school, a school schedule verifying enrollment, with 6-12 credit hours for undergraduate or 3-9 credits at a graduate level is required. The school schedule must include the student’s name, the school’s name, the number of enrolled credits, and the period of the current semester.
- Spouses/non-military parents that do not have a traditional school schedule, please click here for more information.
- A one-time 90-day certification of looking for work approval period may be utilized by the spouse/non-military parent if they are currently searching for employment. The Looking for Work Form must be completed in order to take advantage of the approval period.
- LES for all Service Members activated to full-time duty. A current copy of the Service Member’s LES dated within the past 90 days will be required.
- Military orders for all Service Members activated to full-time duty from the Reserves or Guard, as well as all applicants eligible for the OMCC program. Guard and Reserves must be on orders for a minimum of 30 consecutive days.
- Deployment Verification Form may be requested if the Sponsor’s orders do not include all the information needed to process fee assistance.
- SF-50 or DA343 for all Army Civilians, and Guard and Reserve Technicians. Please supply your current year SF-50 form or DA343 form.
- Provider Cost Verification Form – The Provider Cost Verification Form collects all required information about the child care rates your family will be charged by the child care provider. This includes discounts, effective dates, rate changes, rate frequency, and the schedule of care. This form will be used to process your fee assistance application and ensure that no over-payments occur. You will be required to submit this form with your family application after it has been confirmed that your child care provider is eligible to participate in the fee assistance programs.
- Provider Documents– All eligible providers for the assistance program must have a state child care license, a state inspection report dated within the last 12 months, and a complete provider fee assistance application. For the MCCYN program, providers must meet additional high quality standards. Applications for fee assistance will not be processed until the selected provider meets all program eligibility requirements and has submitted a complete application.
- Statement of non-availability – for families living within 15 miles or 20 minutes of an Army installation that offers on-post child care. Before applying to the Army Fee Assistance Program with CCAoA, new families must contact CYSS Parent & Outreach Services to see if there are child care options available on-post. If on-post care is unavailable a Statement of non-availability must be completed and signed by a CYSS Parent & Outreach Services representative and be sent to CCAoA as part of your application packet. Families will not have to provide a statement of non-availability if they reside further than 15 miles or 20 minutes from an Army installation that offers on-post child care.
- Exempt Populations include: School-age children, geographically dispersed ARNG and AR, Wounded Warriors, SOS Sponsors, Recruiters, and rare cases requiring Army-approved exceptions to policy.
- PLEASE NOTE: Families are required to submit an updated copy of the statement of non-availability if they make a permanent change of station (PCS) to a new location. This is required in order to determine if space is available on the new installation.
- Eligible Army families whose child(ren) have been supplanted from installation care can apply for Army Fee Assistance. If the Family lives within the catchment area of an Army installation, a copy of the supplanting notice will be accepted in lieu of the Statement of Non-Availability. This only applies for the child on the supplanting notice. Siblings who do not have a supplanting notice require a signed Statement of Non-Availability.
Please note that you will have 90 days from the date on which your application is submitted to complete your application (including all your required supporting documents) and meet all eligibility program requirements. If your application is not completed within 90 days of your initial submission, then you may not be eligible for any retro-active subsidy payments and your application may be subject to deactivation. This program is not an entitlement program and is subject to the availability of funds, which may be discontinued at any time.
- If you are unable to apply online, you can download the Family Application here.
Frequently Requested Parent Forms
- Army Fee Assistance Family Application
- Army Respite Family Application
- Army Respite Parent Signature Page
- Change of Provider Form
- Deployment Verification Form
- Information Change Request Form
- Parent Signature Page
- Provider Cost Verification Form
- Schedule of Care Form
- Self Certification Form
- Spouse Employment Verification Form
- Spouse Looking for Work Form
- Spouse Maternity Leave Verification Form
- Statement of Non-Availability
Frequently Requested Provider Forms
Documentos En Español
Por favor vea abajo algunos formularios frecuentemente solicitados para Padres. Si tiene alguna pregunta, por favor comuníquese con nosotros al 1 (800) 424-2246.
Documentos para Padres
When will I receive a response from Child Care Aware® of America?
You will receive a response about the status of your application within 3-5 business days from the submission of your application.
When will I receive approval for fee assistance?
The processing time for your application may vary and is dependent upon the timely submission and receipt of ALL family and child care provider documents required to approve your application or recertification.
When are fee assistance payments made?
Fee assistance is paid to the provider at the end of the month within 7-10 business days of Child Care Aware® of America’s receipt of the completed attendance sheets.
Army Fee Assistance Program Fee Ranges and TFI for School Year 2018-2020
Effective February 1, 2019, the Army will implement the School Year (SY) 2018-2019, 2019-2020 Army Child and Youth Fee Policy as required by the SY 18-19, 19-20 Department of Defense (DoD) Child Care Fee Policy for Community Based Programs.
This policy slightly increases the income range for each of the nine Total Family Income (TFI) categories and the child care fees for families in each category. Child care fee increases range from $2.00 to $24.00 per month, depending on the family’s TFI category.
*** Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson operated by the Air Force are now considered High Cost areas. Fees for Army Families located in these areas may be impacted.
Parent rates for families receiving Army Fee Assistance will be impacted because the subsidy calculation is based on the DoD child care fee rates. These are the same rates paid by families whose children are enrolled in on-post child care.
The Army Fee Assistance subsidy is the difference between what the Sponsor would pay based on the DoD child care fee for the Sponsor’s TFI category and the community-based child care provider’s fee, up to a provider rate cap of $1500 per child per month. The Army Sponsor is responsible for the DoD child care fee and any amount the community-based child care provider charges over the provider rate cap of $1500. If the difference between the Army monthly fee and the provider’s rate is determined to be less than $20 a month, then a monthly amount of child care fee assistance will not be authorized.
Effective February 1, 2019, Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) will use the new DoD child care fees to calculate the subsidy amount each family receives. However, adjustments to current certificates will not occur until your annual recertification or when a change occurs that requires a change in your child’s certificate.
In addition, CCAoA does not make adjustments to the fee assistance amount due to annual rate changes, unless notified about the changes before fee assistance is calculated and approval certificates are sent out. When completing your application or recertifying, please notify CCAoA of ALL rate changes that will occur throughout your certificate period. These may include, but are not limited to, rate changes for change in age, Before & After School, summer care, and annual provider rate changes. This will ensure that all rate changes are implemented for the certificate period and will avoid any inaccurate payments.
National accreditation is an additional criterion used to determine the quality of a child care program. Family child care homes and child care centers may pursue accreditation in order to increase the quality of their care. Accredited providers must meet higher standards than those set forth by licensing. These programs offer the kind of care, attention, and educational activities parents look for in quality child care programs, in addition to offering activities and experiences that will aid in a child’s growth and development and that will help prepare them for school.
The Military Child Care in Your Neighborhood (MCCYN) fee assistance program is an extension of the child care services offered through the various military installations within the United States. Qualifying military sponsors for the MCCYN program must be connected to an accredited child care provider to ensure their children are receiving community child care of comparable quality to the type of care administered at military Child Development Centers or Child Development Homes.
Sponsors who qualify for the Military Child Care in Your Neighborhood (MCCYN) program must select a child care provider that meets one of the following requirements for accreditation:
Child Care Centers:
In order for child care centers to meet MCCYN requirements, they must be accredited by one of the approved national accreditation agencies listed below:
- National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
- National Accreditation Commission (NAC)
- National Early Childhood Program Accreditation (NECPA)
- Council on Accreditation (COA)
- Cognia – NCA/SACS/NWAC (formerly AdvancED)
*Please note the agencies listed above are the only approved national accreditations that are accepted for the military fee assistance programs.
Family Child Care:
In order for family child care providers to meet MCCYN requirements, they must have achieved one of the following high-quality credentials listed below:
- Child Development Associate (CDA) credential awarded by the Council for Professional Recognition
- Associate’s degree or higher in Early Childhood Education or Child Development
- National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) Accreditation
In addition to the provided national accreditation agencies and their corresponding websites, please feel free to visit Child Care Aware® of America’s list of providers who have at one time participated in fee assistance. If your family selects a child care provider from this search engine, you must first verify that the facility meets the current eligibility requirements set forth by your branch and program before an approval for monthly tuition assistance can be awarded. If you have questions about your selected provider’s eligibility, please contact us at 1-800-424-2246.
If additional assistance in locating nationally accredited care in a specific area is required, a qualifying military sponsor may receive an Enhanced Referral from a member of Child Care Aware® by calling 1-800-424-2246.
During the referral process, an Enhanced Referral Specialist will conduct a customized child care search within 5 business days. This search will take into consideration the parents’ work and home addresses, transportation route to and from work, hours of care needed, ages of the children, and the provider’s eligibility for the fee assistance program. Military sponsors who receive an Enhanced Referral will also be provided with the option to use providers who are in the CCAoA preferred provider network. This network currently hosts nearly 3,500 pre-approved MCCYN providers. The call with the Enhanced Referral Specialist will link families to providers and include consumer education, eligibility screening, and information about available child care subsidy.
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