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 the Army Fee Assistance Program.
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 program available through CCAoA provides 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. You can review more information on provider rate caps and fee assistance calculations.
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.
If you need assistance in locating a qualifying child care provider, you may receive an Enhanced Referral from a member of Child Care Aware® by calling 1-800-424-2246.
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 review a list of all policy updates.
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
RAS – Retiree Account Statement for civilian sponsor and/or spouse (if applicable)
VA Benefit Letter / VA Award letter for civilian sponsor and/or spouse (if applicable)
Any other retirement or disability income (if applicable)
Statement of Non-Availability
Provider Application documents
Check out the details on the supporting documents that 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
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|
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 be accredited by one of the DoD approved accrediting bodies. You can review more information on provider qualifications.
You can search for eligible MCCYN providers who are already enrolled in the program. Once you have located a provider, please contact us to verify their eligibility: (1-800-424-2246)
Military Child Care in Your Neighborhood – PLUS (MCCYN-PLUS):
MCCYN-PLUS is a pilot program in Washington, Maryland, Nevada and the following regions in Virginia: Northern Region, North Central Region, Peninsula, Eastern Region. MCCYN-PLUS implements a state Quality Rating and Improvement System for non-accredited, licensed center-based child care programs with the intent to improve the quality of child care. MCCYN-PLUS is only approved if accredited care is not available. Visit the MCCYN PLUS page for more info.
If a family is not able to find a provider that meets the MCCYN or MCCYN-PLUS (in pilot locations only) requirements they should contact a specialist at CCAoA for assistance in locating an eligible provider.
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
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 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:
- 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
What Supporting Documents Are Needed?
- Direct Deposit Form
- EIN Instructions
- Provider Change of Information Request Form
- Provider Fee Assistance Application (only required for Providers who have not previously participated)
- Provider Rate Verification Form
- Provider Respite Application
- Provider W-9 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/paternity leave, please have their employer complete the Maternity/Paternity 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 a college/university, a school schedule verifying enrollment 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.
- If the spouse/non-military parent is enrolled in another post-secondary educational program (e.g. career/technical school or vocational/trade school), a formal apprenticeship program, or pursuit of a General Education Development (GED), proof enrollment must be provided. The document must include student’s name, the school’s name, length of the educational program and weekly number of hours attending school. The following table is used to determine eligibility for full time or part time fee assistance:
Program Full Time AFA Part Time AFA Graduate Program* 9+ credit hours 3-8 credit hours Under Graduate Program* 12+ credit hours 6-11 credit hours Other Post-secondary institutions 25+ clock hours per week 16-24 clock hours per week
* Traditional 15 week school schedule. For accelerated programs, please contact CCAoA.
- 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 deployed sponsors who are eligible for the deployment discount. . Guard and Reserves must be on orders for a minimum of 30 consecutive days.
- SF-50 or DA3434 for all Army Civilians, and Guard and Reserve Technicians. Please supply your current year SF-50 form or DA3434 form.
- RAS – Retiree Account Statement – Army Civilian employees or spouses/non-military parent who previously served in the military and receive retirement pay
- VA Benefit Letter/VA award letter – Army Civilian employees or spouses/non-military parent who previously served in the military and receive disability pay from the VA. Letter must show the monthly entitlement amount.
- Any other retirement or disability pay received for Army Civilian employee or spouse/non-military parent.
- 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 CYS Parent & Outreach Services to see if there are child care options available on-post. If on-post care is unavailable within 45 days of date care needed a Statement of Non-Availability must be completed and signed by a CYS 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, , Wounded Warriors, SOS Sponsors, Recruiters, Joint base installations where Army is not the primary service, 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. Supplanting notices in lieu of an SNA are only authorized for 60 days from the date the supplanting notice is signed.
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.
When Will I Receive Fee Assistance?
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.
How Is Fee Assistance Calculated?
Army Fee Assistance Program Fee Ranges and TFI for School Year link current year program notification blurb
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 any fees not covered by the Army Fee Assistance Program 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.
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.
Why is Accredited Care Important?
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 activities and experiences that aid a child’s growth and development, and 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. To learn about the approved accreditations that meet the criteria for the Military Child Care in Your Neighborhood (MCCYN) program please visit https://www.childcareaware.org/fee-assistancerespite/feeassistancerespiteproviders/feeassistance/ .
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 6,000+ 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.