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Furloughs could reduce child care assistance

May. 9, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
Thiqueta Beasley, a Family Child Care provider, and her daughter, Kei'lani, put together a toy train track in her home March 29 at Hascom Air Force Base, Mass. Beasley was recently named as Hanscom's 2012 Provider of the Year.
Thiqueta Beasley, a Family Child Care provider, and her daughter, Kei'lani, put together a toy train track in her home March 29 at Hascom Air Force Base, Mass. Beasley was recently named as Hanscom's 2012 Provider of the Year. (Linda LaBonte Britt/Air Force)
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Air Force child care

BaseTotal CapacityTotal Wait List
AF Academy, Colo.5120
Altus AFB, Okla.31210
Arnold AFB, Tenn.*240
Aviano AB, Italy35867
Barksdale AFB, La.**39259
Beale AFB, Calif.43919
Buckley AFB, Colo.48922
Cannon AFB, N.M.39421
Columbus AFB, Miss.22727
Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.66067
Dover AFB, Del.42822
Dyess AFB, Texas39432
Edwards AFB, Calif.65042
Eglin AFB, Fla.**111440
Eielson AFB, Alaska4269
Ellsworth AFB, S.D.35812
Fairchild AFB, Wash.41920
Warren AFB, Wyo.33443
Geilenkirchen AB, Germany**738
Goodfellow AFB, Texas24749
Grand Forks AFB, N.D.3331
Hanscom AFB, Mass.350102
Hill AFB, Utah77023
Holloman AFB, N.M.**318111
Hurlburt Field, Fla.87138
Incirlik AB, Turkey21320
JB Andrews, Md.924108
JB Charleston, S.C.78785
JB Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska1545178
JB McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.110043
JB-Fort Eustis, Va.64228
JB-Langley, Va.**456252
JB San Antonio-Houston699411
JB San Antonio-Lackland **96288
JB San Antonio-Randolph**342230
Kadena AB, Japan115142
Keesler AFB, Miss.46824
Kirtland AFB, N.M.56437
Lajes Field Azo, Terceira942
Laughlin AFB, Texas13716
Little Rock AFB, Ark.39525
Los Angeles AFB, Calif.25249
Luke AFB, Ariz.37878
MacDill AFB, Fla.71212
Malmstrom AFB, Mont.36118
Maxwell AFB, Ala.52724
McConnell AFB, Kansas34842
Menwith Hill, United Kingdom1840
Minot AFB, N.D.63880
Misawa AB, Japan4194
Moody AFB, Ga.40454
Moron AB, Spain480
Mountain Home AFB, Idaho2954
Nellis AFB, Nevada832194
Offutt AFB, Neb.75816
Osan AB, S. Korea1269
Patrick AFB, Fla.35616
Peterson AFB, Colo.64728
RAF Alconbury, U.K.1566
RAF Croughton, U.K.680
RAF Lakenheath, U.K.517146
RAF Mildenhall, U.K.3730
Ramstein AB, Germany**1173442
Robins AFB, Ga.44443
Schriever AFB, Colo.3067
Scott AFB, Ill.7929
Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.36634
Shaw AFB, S.C.4240
Sheppard AFB, Texas26718
Spangdahlem AB, Germany**42867
Tinker AFB, Okla.**544156
Travis AFB, Calif.84496
Tyndall AFB, Fla.38916
Vance AFB, Okla.1204
Vandenberg AFB, Calif.43344
Whiteman AFB, Mo.29420
Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio105442
Yokota AB, Japan5400
* Only open during summer months ** CDC Construction/Renovation projects will add additional spacesNOTE 1: Data is from September 2012 NOTE 2: Parents may be on multiple wait lists at an installation for different types of careSoure: Child Development Center, Family Child Care & School-Age Program

The threat of furloughs for 180,000 Air Force civilian employees could leave airmen scrambling to find child care.

Furlough notices for Defense Department employees are slated to start arriving in the coming weeks, forcing thousands to take unpaid leave starting in June and lasting through seven biweekly pay periods until the end of September, according to Defense officials.

Civilians make up about 25 percent of the child care support staff at Air Force installations and nearly 100 percent of management and administrative teams responsible for health and safety standards, said Lt. Gen. Darrell Jones, deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel and services, and Daniel Ginsberg, assistant Air Force secretary for manpower and reserve affairs, in prepared testimony for the Senate Armed Services personnel subcommittee.

To maintain mandated standards, child care centers could be forced to reduce hours of operation, reduce the number of children in certain age classes to maintain the adult-to-child ratio and even force working parents to either adjust their work hours or find off-base care at higher cost, according to the testimony.

Service officials are also expecting budget cuts and sequestration to thwart attempts to create more capacity at base child care centers, many of which already have long waiting lists. The Air Force is undergoing construction projects at 10 bases to increase child care capacity forcewide by 750, according to the testimony.

Delayed construction and reduced class sizes could mean even longer waiting listsat a time when community-based funding for these programs has been cut.

Candace M.E. Bird, chief of Air Force Child and Youth Programs, said the service looks at all the possible issues that could be created by sequestration and no specific strategy decisions have been made.

“As we move forward, our goal is to minimize any impacts in this area and maintain the best support possible to help maintain ready, resilient airmen and families,” Bird said in an emailed statement.

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