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Free childcare offered

KENTUCKY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- For Kentucky Airmen who are stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to finding childcare during Unit Training Assemblies, a new program may make it easier to serve.

The National Guard Home Childcare Program is currently funding the care of four wing members who otherwise wouldn't be able to fulfill their monthly military obligations.

According to Maj. Robert Geary, Services Flight commander, help may be available for many more Airmen who express the need through their chain of command.

"We want to be able to go to the National Guard Bureau on a monthly basis and show them that we're a unit which is effectively using this program," Major Geary said. "The more successful we are at demonstrating that need on a consistent basis, the more likely it is that we will receive additional support."

The major said care is currently provided minutes from the base by a professional, licensed childcare provider. That provider was further scrutinized by NGB before being approved to participate in the program.

"The feedback we have received from Airmen utilizing the program has been outstanding.," he said. "They tell us the quality of care their children receive is exceptional."

The wing will take identical steps to credential an additional provider if more Airmen come forward with a need. Junior Airmen are given priority and will be placed on a waiting list to participate in the program. Single parents and military members with deployed spouses are excellent candidates for the assistance. All interested members must be able to substantiate the need for care.

"We're not going to be able to help everyone who wants childcare, but we believe we can increase our participation substantially," the major said. "That's why it's critical that people who truly need the help step forward."