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When parents need a break

Respite Care is there for parents before life gets too unmanageable

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Not all military families live on post. As a result, many are often challenged to find safe, affordable child care options close to their homes. The new Army Child Care in Your Neighborhood, or ACCYN, program promotes sponsored off-post care as a supplement to on-post care.

ACCYN is a joint venture between Army Child, Youth and School Services, or CYSS, and the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies, or NACCRRA. ACCYN care options provide the same quality care as found on post and are expected to maintain that standard.

The sponsored off-post sites receive ongoing training and guidance so their staff can achieve national accreditation. Military families pay reduced fees, comparable to those charged on post. Fee structures are based on the total family income, and often further discounts are given for multiple children. For more information, call (253) 967-2494.

The YMCA Military Outreach Initiative has respite child care services for families when a parent is deployed. The program, which is open to infants and children up to 12 years old, is intended to provide temporary relief for parents who are in the role of primary - and often sole - caregiver due to a deployment.

Eligibility requirements may vary but typically include the following: families of joint deployed Army National Guard and reservists of all military branches; families of deployed active duty personnel; relocated spouses and family members of deployed active duty personnel; and families of deployed active duty personnel who are living outside a 30-mile radius from a military installation.

Contact Military OneSource at to confirm eligibility and locate participating YMCAs, including the Briggs Community Branch on Yelm Highway in Olympia.

Similarly, there is Operation: Military Child Care, a Department of Defense initiative that helps families dealing with a deployment locate licensed child care off post. OMCC also can also assist with subsidizing fees on a per case basis. Call (800) 424-2246 for more information.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of America, or BGCA, which has more than 350 centers on military installations, focuses on child development and providing positive outlets and role models. There are no attendance fees for any of the four centers on Fort Lewis and McChord, and to ensure stability, the BGCA maintains consistent programming throughout all of its 4,300 clubs nationwide.

  • McChord Air Force Base Youth Center, (253) 982-2203
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound, Lakewood, (253) 502-4600
  • Beachwood School Age Center, Fort Lewis, (253) 967-2600
  • Fort Lewis Youth Center, (253) 967-4441
  • North Fort Youth Center, (253) 966-7174
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