During Senate Confirmation Hearing, Senator Rosen Mentioned Concerns From Nevada Airmen And Urged Nominee To Cut Red Tape In Child Care Program
Watch Senator Rosen’s Remarks HERE.
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, during the confirmation hearing in the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Rosen secured a commitment from General David Allvin, Air Force Chief of Staff nominee, to cut red tape in a program designed to make child care available for military families like Airmen at Nellis and Creech Air Force Bases who work overnight shifts. Las Vegas was selected as a location for the Department of Defense’s “In-Home Child Care Fee Assistance Pilot Program,” but Nevada servicemembers have told Senator Rosen that red tape has made it essentially unavailable. Senator Rosen also asked the nominee about other top issues for Nevada’s Airmen, including making sure the Nevada Air National Guard receives the upgraded aircraft they need for firefighting efforts.
Senator Rosen has been a strong advocate in the Senate for the military, Nevada’s servicemembers, and their families. Last year, following a year-long effort by Senator Rosen, the Department of Defense heeded her call to provide a dislocation allowance to junior enlisted servicemembers who are ordered to move to off-base housing due to a lack of on-base dormitory availability, saving them from having to cover their own moving costs out of pocket before they began receiving their Basic Allowance for Housing. She also sent a letter last month to the Secretary of the Air Force requesting they select Reno as a location to receive C-130J aircraft, a newer and more capable plane which the Nevada Air National Guard can use to more safely and effectively fight wildland fires.
Below is an excerpt of the exchange:
Sen. Rosen: Airmen stationed at Creech Air Force Base – they have an incredibly difficult time finding adequate childcare options because of their shift schedules – they pilot those MQ-9 Reapers, we know that – they fall outside of the normal business hours, given the 24-hour operations they support around the globe. So your “In-Home Child Care Fee Assistance Pilot Program” – it was launched to help the in-home childcare solutions for servicemembers in the region with exceptionally high demand. We know the pilot program was expanded to include Las Vegas.
However, I’ve been told by our Airmen and women that the program has so much red tape. It’s so cumbersome – the requirements – that the program is essentially unavailable to the many Nevada families who desperately need this service. So, how do you propose that we fix this problem, because their mission isn’t changing and we have to give them that peace of mind of affordable quality child care? Our military families – you know this – we need that.
General Allvin: Senator, thank you for that question, because I think what often goes unnoticed is the idea that for many, childcare is a readiness issue. Especially, you bring about the point of those brave folks at Creech who actually are employed in place and are taking on highly stressful missions, and then go back home. But that are still just as dedicated and work just as hard. And the hours are tricky as well, and so they may not have access to the standard child development centers that others who work the sort of dayshift, if you will.
So, to your point about this in-home childcare, Senator, if confirmed, you have my commitment to continue to work to try and cut through some of that red tape, because I find it heartening that there are families out there who are willing to open up their homes and be subject to the certification to ensure that there’s the safe care of the children for those who might be working at night.