Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Schriever Sentinel

Website offers faster, standardized access to child care

By Brian Hagberg

50th Space Wing Public Affairs

Parents looking for childcare on Schriever Air Force Base will soon have a faster way to find and request the care they need.

The Department of Defense is rolling out a new website, www.militarychildcare.com, and the site will be available for Schriever members beginning Dec. 14.

“It’s a DOD site for families seeking child care,” said Mary Barkley, 50th Force Support Squadron Airmen and Family Services flight chief. “They piloted it at Nellis (Air Force Base) and it went really, really well.”

The DOD plans to have every installation added to the website by Dec. 31, giving parents a simple, standardized way to find child care.

“This secure Department of Defense website provides a single gateway for you to find comprehensive information on military-operated or military-approved child care programs worldwide,” the website says.

“Parents will have the information at their fingertips,” Barkley added.

Additionally, parents will be able to request care without having to contact providers directly. Once a profile is created, parents can request care from multiple providers on an installation.

“Patrons are able to create and manage their own accounts,” said Jessica Parks, Schriever Child Development Center director. “They can also submit requests for care prior to them arriving at Schriever, eliminating one of the many things they need to do when they arrive to their new duty station.”

The site will also have information about each provider such as, ages accepted, hours of operation, primary contact name/phone number and type of care offered (full day, part day, hourly, etc.).

“We have worked with marketing to ensure all of the (CDC) information is available to the families,” Parks said.

Profiles on the site need to be created by the sponsor to ensure the child(ren)’s eligibility. Parents with children already on the Schriever CDC waitlist will find that information on their profile when they first login.

Parks said the website will also help streamline the enrollment process.

“The desk clerks will be able to send out automatic notifications to offer spaces, and families will be able to access all of our enrollment paperwork directly through the website,” she said.

The website itself has multiple search options for users. Members can add the location in a search box on the homepage, or they can click on the “Where are we now?” box which will take them to an interactive map showing all installations worldwide.

Until all installations have integrated the site, some arrows on the interactive map will be greyed-out. Those grey arrows indicate installations that have not gone live on the site yet.

Once the migration is complete, the website will provide a universal way for parents to request care whenever they change duty stations. Barkley said the standardization will reduce stress for all involved parties.

“Requesting care will be easier and less stressful both for the parents and the CDC staff,” she said. “Parents can request care any time, day or night and staff will have an automated system tracking requests and openings. It will make life easier for everyone.”

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