Hanscom to review supplanting at child care facilities

  • Published
  • By Mark Wyatt
  • 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Base officials here are reviewing a September 2020 Department of Defense supplanting policy that prioritizes child care access for those with higher needs.

Supplanting occurs when a family with a higher priority replaces a family with children currently enrolled as lower priority with adequate notice. The MilitaryChildCare.com fact sheet linked here has a listing of military family types and priority levels. Ages of children and current waitlists also are a factor.

''The department's system of child care was established to assist service members as they face the unique challenges associated with the demands of military service,'' said Virginia (Vee) Penrod, acting assistant secretary of defense for manpower and reserve affairs in a DOD news release in March of 2020. ''Over time, child care access expanded to serve the total force, but we must not lose sight of the service member and mission requirements. We must ensure that our military members and families have the support needed in order to be mission ready.''

Supplanting was paused in 2020 at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. With child care operations at Hanscom returning to normal operations following the transition to Health Protection Condition Alpha last month, and the continuing shortage of staff, 66 FSS officials are now looking to determine if currently enrolled families will be impacted.

“Force Support Squadron personnel at the CDC will begin reviewing the current waitlist to ensure accuracy and child care demand,” said Maj. Joshua Caragan, 66th Force Support Squadron commander. “Families who will be impacted will receive a 45-day written notification prior to being supplanted.”

Impacted Hanscom families will be permitted to reapply for care through MilitaryChildCare.com, which is DOD’s website for military and DOD-affiliated families seeking childcare.

The secure site will continue to serve as the access point for all requests for care. Individual priority is verified at the time of enrollment and annually thereafter.

“We acknowledge this policy presents a challenge for some families and we will work with them on an individual basis to identify alternate child care resources to minimize the impact as much as possible,” said Caragan.

The policy impacts the following DOD-run full-time child care programs: Child Development Center and the school-age care program.