DoD has revised its priority rankings for access to child care centers at its facilities, stressing availability for several categories of military personnel over civilian employees.
The change, to be effective in June, could make it more difficult for civilian DoD employees to enroll children in the future, depending on local availability. The potential impact on those currently enrolled is not clear, although the guidance does specify that children of lower-priority parents may be “supplanted” when the “anticipated placement time” for higher-priority parents is more than 45 days after their desired beginning date.
The DoD has nearly 200 child care centers in its facilities in the U.S. plus dozens overseas—making its system about twice as large as the separate system GSA oversees in buildings it owns or leases for other agencies.
Under the guidance, the top priority group in order, will be: those working at the child care centers; single or dual active duty members; single or dual Guard or Reserve members on active duty or inactive duty training status; service members with a fulltime working spouse; active duty members or Guard or Reserve members on active duty or inactive duty training status with part-time working spouse or a spouse seeking employment; and active duty members or Guard or Reserve members on active duty or inactive duty training status with a spouse enrolled in a post-secondary institution on a full time basis.
In the second priority group will be single or dual DoD civilians and DoD civilians with a full-time working spouse. After demand from those groups has been filled, various other categories will be eligible on a space-available basis, including DoD civilian employees with a spouse seeking employment or enrolled in a full-time post-secondary educational program, and contractors.
Under the prior policy, single or dual DoD civilian employees were in the top priority group along with child care center workers, active duty members, combat-wounded military personnel and survivors of those who died of combat-related reasons.