Home Community Care Program: Making childcare easier for you

  • Published
  • By Gabrielle Terrett
  • 307th Bomb Wing Public Affairs

Finding childcare can be difficult! The Air Force Reserve wants to make it easier and less expensive with the Home Community Care (HCC) program.

The HCC program is one of the programs that falls under Expanded Child Care and is a Family Child Care supported program. It provides in-home childcare services to Air Force Reservists parents at no cost during their monthly scheduled Unit Training Assembly weekend.

This program pairs families with Air Force licensed Family Child Care Providers who open their homes to Air Force Reservists with limited childcare options for their children between the ages of 2 weeks and 12 years.

Many of the Reserve families come from out of town, making the HCC program an invaluable asset for them. Their children are often placed with the same provider and same group of children supporting continuity and security for the family.  

“This program is a great way for our Reservists to be at ease when they leave their children with someone,” said Frank Devillier, Director of Military and Family Readiness at Barksdale AFB, La. “And it’s at no cost, so that is a huge help without adding to an already stretched household budget, and sometimes we have single parents that don’t have any other options.”

Following a 2023 survey, the Air Force Reserve Command found that roughly 67% of its Airmen paid at least $100 per child during the UTA weekend, while 33% paid $200 or more per child. The HCC program, however, proves to be a strong competitor to traditional childcare providers as it comes with a zero-dollar price tag for the parents, with a few exceptions.

When asked about the cost of the program Mrs. Janice Bur, Family Childcare Coordinator at Barkdsale, AFB, La., stated that the program is funded through the Department of the Air Force, but parents may incur charges if they do not follow through with their contracted schedules.

With safety being a top priority, FCC providers go through intense training and inspections before their names are ever put onto the roster to offer care.

“Before they can even be licensed through the Air Force, they have to pass all of their background checks,” said Bur. “Any adult members in their home, and their spouses also have to go through background checks, and children over the age of 12 also have to have their local installation records checks.”

Once all the necessary background checks have been completed, applicants then go through an orientation process, and are introduced to the different concepts of running their business, setting up their home, and keeping good records.

“As a father, when you talk about serving in the Air Force and leaving your children with someone, that’s probably a great fear for a lot of people,” said Mr. Devillier. “But when you’re talking about the HCC program, they have requirements to become a provider, they meet with the parents, and they have regular check ins with Ms. Janice.”

Ms. Bur also mentioned that FCC Providers must attend and complete trainings on child abuse and neglect, CPR, First Aid, contract writing, health and safety, fire prevention, and Air Force childcare policies and procedures. Afterwards, the provider will be inspected by the Barksdale AFB Family Child Care Coordinator, as well as representatives in Fire, Safety, and Health before their license is presented to the MSG commander to be approved or denied.

“They [Air Force Reservists] have a high-quality program with high standards that they can use and feel safe,” said Bur. “I think it’s very important they know their kids are happy while they’re there and it’s an open-door policy so they can go in and check on them if they want to. That’s a huge asset to have and one less thing they have to worry about.”

The HCC Program currently supports 10-18 children monthly and when full, Reservist families are offered off base options when available. This care is not covered by the HCC program and prices vary. 

If you or someone that you know is interested in signing up for the HCC program simply complete the Registration Form and forward it, a copy of your UTA schedule, and the requested times and dates of service to 2FSS.Barksdale.ChildCare@us.af.mil .