Q: What is Operation
A: Operation Child
Care is a voluntary effort of Nation's Network of Child Care
Resource and Referral Agencies, local child care resource and
referral agencies, and child care providers to provide a few hours
of free child care for National Guard and Reserve personnel
returning for two weeks of rest and recuperation leave from Iraq and
Afghanistan. This free child care support will allow military
members who do not have access to a military installation to be able
to take care of family business or take their spouses out for a
Q: What is the goal
of Operation Child Care?
A: The goal of
Operation Child Care is for the child care community to give back to
those who are fighting to keep us safe. As citizens, we recognize
that the National Guard and Reserve members who have been called to
active duty are our friends and neighbors from communities across
America. We realize that they do not have access to the same kinds
of support systems as regular military families, and this is one way
the nation and the child care community can show its support.
Q: Who is
participating in the Operation Child Care effort?
A: Operation Child
Care is being led by NACCRRA, The Nation's Network of Child Care
Resource and Referral agencies. In addition to state and local child
care resource and referral agencies and child care providers who are
volunteering their time, several national partners are also
supporting the effort: the National Association of Family Child
Care, the National Child Care Association, the National Cooperative
Extension System, National 4-H and the Child Care Bureau, U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services. Bright Horizons Family
Solutions and KinderCare Learning Centers, representing thousands of
their child care centers across the country, are also participating.
Q: Who can use
Operation Child Care services?
A: Any member of the
National Guard or Reserve who has been deployed to Iraq or
Afghanistan and is home on official rest and recuperation leave for
two weeks. Service members will be asked to show their valid
military identification cards and leave orders before free child
care is provided.
Q: How do Guard and
Reserve members access Operation Child Care services?
A: National Guard and
Reserve members can access Operation Child Care services by calling
NACCRRA's national Child Care Aware toll-free information line, 1
(800) 424-2246, or by visiting
Service members will be connected to the local child care resource
and referral agency in their community, which will link them to
participating child care providers.
Q: Are there enough
child care provider volunteers to meet the need?
A: Child care
providers who meet state and local licensing regulations and trained
4-H youth in cities and towns across the country are being recruited
by local child care resource and referral agencies to provide four
or more hours of free child care to Guard and Reserve members
returning for R & R leave. Several national child care providers,
such as Bright Horizons Family Solutions and KinderCare Learning
Centers, have also signed on the thousands of centers they operate
across the country to participate in Operation Child Care. However,
the Operation Child Care materials provided to Guard and Reserve
members inform them that while every effort will be made to meet all
requests, the project cannot guarantee everyone will be able to
access free care.
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Q: How can providers
sign up to volunteer?
A: Child care
providers can join the Operation Child Care effort by contacting
their local child care resource and referral agency, which will be
maintaining a list of volunteers. Providers who are not sure who
their local child care resource and referral agency is can call the
Child Care Aware number, 1 (800) 424-2246, or visit
All participating child care providers will receive national
recognition for volunteering their time.
Click here for Operation Child Care recruitment information for
child care providers who wish to participate.
[To download the Adobe Acrobat
reader for the PDF file, click here.]
Q: How many military
members will be arriving in each state or community?
A: It is impossible
to know exactly how many will be coming home from each state or
community at any given time. A list of how many Guard and Reserve
members have been activated from each state is available at the
d20040407ngr.pdf. However, this list does not represent how many
will be coming home or will want to use Operation Child Care
Q: Are there services
like Operation Child Care for active duty military personnel who are
not in the National Guard or Reserve?
A: Operation Child
Care was designed for National Guard and Reserve personnel because
they do not typically have access to the military family support
programs provided to active duty personnel. Each branch of the armed
forces has special services for military members and their families
during times of deployment. Active duty personnel who inquire about
Operation Child Care will be directed to their Department of Defense
Child Development Centers for services.
Q: How can I find
A: For more information about Operation
Child Care, NACCRRA, Child Care Aware, or local child care resource
and referral agencies, call Child Care Aware, 1 (800) 424-2246, or
Many states and local communities have added extra services and
special features to their Operation Child Care efforts. For state or
community-specific information, contact the local child care
resource and referral agency in your community. If you do not know
who provides local child care resource and referral services in your
area, contact Child Care Aware.
Association of Child Care Resource
and Referral Agencies news release]