It goes without saying that you want the best for your kids. Mainly, that means keeping them healthy and happy — with supportive friends and adults around them who help them identify their strengths, encourage them to be themselves, and give them the tools they need to let their imaginations soar. The trick is finding a childcare environment that offers you (and them) everything they need, want and deserve — in a safe location, within your budget and close to home or work.
So how do you navigate your way around expensive daycare providers to find a place you can really trust? Navy Spouse and blogger Britni Miltner shared her ideas with us so that we could share them with you! Here are some Britni’s tips and recommended resources to help you find childcare that fits your kids, your budget, and your busy Military Family life — without a lot of stress.
Childcare Resources to Explore
Child Care Aware
“Child Care Aware® of America is a national membership-based nonprofit organization working to advance affordability, accessibility, development and learning of children in child care. Child Care Aware® of America is honored to support all branches of the military in their commitment to providing quality, affordable, community-based child care for all military families.” — from the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA)
Britni says: It can be a lengthy process to get started and the website can be confusing, but once you figure it out, it is easy to navigate and understand. If you find a provider that you like and they aren’t enrolled in Child Care Aware, you can request that they apply to become part of the program if they meet all of the program’s requirements.
Britni says: This Department of Defense website offers a collection of military-operated or approved childcare facilities — all over the world, including information about in-home daycare providers.
Britni says: You can browse for free, but if you find potential sitters you’d like to communicate with, you will have to sign up and pay a membership fee. BONUS: You can pay the sitter directly from the UrbanSitter app — no cash transaction required!
Britni says: You can browse for free, but just like UrbanSitter, if you want to communicate with potential sitters, a membership fee is required. BONUS: Military families can join for FREE.
Britni says: You can browse for free, but SitterCity operates similarly to UrbanSitter and Care.com. If you want to communicate with potential sitters, you must become a member and pay the fee. BONUS: SitterCity offers a program for Military Families.
Thanks to Britni, we now have a little more insight — and a lot more assistance — in overcoming one of the most important challenges Military Families face: finding good childcare for your kids in a new location you may be heading to, or even in your current hometown. So the next time you make a PCS move, you’ll be ahead of the game.
Please share your personal childcare stories, either in the comments below.
About Britni Miltner
A Navy Spouse since 2007, Britni runs MilSpouseResource.com, a blog with the motto “Let’s Support and Inspire Each Other”. Britni is a Scout with Millie, the Social Media Coordinator for Military Spouses of Strength and a volunteer Mentor for Military Spouse Advocacy Network’s New Military Spouse Support Program. She also serves on the Advisory Board for the MilSpo Project. She graduated from Auburn University in 2004 with a degree in Entrepreneurship and Family Business, and she bleeds orange and blue.