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§ 79.4 Policy.

In accordance with DoD Instruction 1342.22, and 10 U.S.C. 1783, 1791 through 1800, 2809, and 2812, it is DoD policy to:

(a) Ensure that the CDPs support the mission readiness, family readiness, retention, and morale of the total force during peacetime, overseas contingency operations, periods of force structure change, relocation of military units, base realignment and closure, and other emergency situations (e.g. natural disasters, and epidemics). Although child care supports working parents, it is not an entitlement and parents must pay their share of the cost of child care.

(b) Reduce the stress of families who have the primary responsibility for the health, safety and well-being of their children and help them balance the competing demands of family life and the DoD mission. CDPs provide access and referral to available, affordable, quality programs and services that meet the basic needs of children, from birth through 12 years of age, in a safe, healthy, and nurturing environment.

(c) Conduct an annual internal certification process to ensure that all installation-operated CDPs are operating in accordance with all applicable Federal mandates and statutory requirements.

(d) Provide child care to support the personnel and the mission of DoD. Eligibility is contingent on the status of the sponsor.

(1) Eligible patrons include:

(i) Active duty military personnel

(ii) DoD civilian employees paid from either appropriated funds (APF) or non-appropriated funds (NAF).

(iii) Reserve Component military personnel on active duty or inactive duty training status.

(iv) Combat related wounded warriors.

(v) Surviving spouses of Military members who died from a combat related incident.

(vi) Those acting in loco parentis for the dependent child of an otherwise eligible patron.

(vii) Eligible employees of DoD contractors.

(viii) Others authorized on a space available basis.

(2) In the case of unmarried, legally separated parents with joint custody, or divorced parents with joint custody, children are eligible for child care only when they reside with the Military Service member or eligible civilian sponsor at least 25 percent of the time in a month that the child receives child care through a DoD program. There may be exceptions as addressed in § 79.6.

(e) Promote the cognitive, social, emotional, cultural, language and physical development of children through programs and services that recognize differences in children and encourage self-confidence, curiosity, creativity, self-discipline, and resiliency.

(f) Employ qualified direct program staff whose progression from entry level to positions of greater responsibility is determined by training, education, experience, and competency. Ensure that civilian employees maintain their achieved position and salary as they move within the military child care system.

(g) Certify qualified FCC providers who can support the mission requirements of the installation.

(h) Facilitate the availability and expansion of quality, affordable, child care off of military installations that meet the standards of this part to ensure that geographically dispersed eligible families have access to legally operating military-approved community-based child care programs.

(i) Promote the early identification and reporting of alleged child abuse and neglect in DoD CDPs in accordance with DoD Directive 6400.1, “Family Advocacy Program (FAP)” (see http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/640001p.pdf).

(j) Ensure that funding is available to meet Military Child Care Act requirements pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 1791 through 1800 and protect the health, safety, and well-being of children in care.

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