Recently, Air Force Family Child Care services increased respite care time from 12 to 40 hours per month for qualified Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) families.
For families who are new to the EFMP Respite Care Program, it is designed to assist Air Force families with short-term, specialized child care for those who qualify as well as additional care for siblings 13 years old and younger.
“For us to take care of our families, we have to take care of ourselves first,” said Natalia Lewis, Creech Family Child Care coordinator.
Nellis Air Force Base is the largest provider of EFMP care which allows families to receive a wide variety of child care services for children with mild autism to children requiring a feeding tube.
“Being a parent is already hard as it is, but when you have a child with special needs it becomes more difficult because you have your therapies, referrals and doctor’s appointments on top of the already stressful work that being a parent brings,” said Lewis.
The eligibility requirements for families to receive respite care are as follows:
* Member of the Air Force
* Active Duty or Reserve/Guard in activated status
* Verification of at least one family member who has been identified as an Exceptional Family Member
* Airman must be Q-coded (or meet enrollment criteria)
* Completed Air Force request with Child Care Aware
With the increase of care hours provided for families, Nellis and Creech Air Force bases are also looking for more individuals to help provide that care.
“Every family will have different needs so the more providers we have, the more diverse the coverage will be for specialties as well as scheduling respite care,” said Lewis.
The increase in respite care hours comes from part of the Air Force budget with the purpose of not only recruiting Airmen, but also retaining them.
“Certification for providers is extensive, but it’s to emphasize the importance of their job, the care that they provide and the relief they bring to those families,” said Lewis.
To submit an application to become a care provider, visit Child Care Aware for America.
“Being a care provider is such a rewarding job. You’re helping our military children and families and it’s just a great experience. I haven’t met anyone who has received respite care and regretted it,” said Lewis.
For more information regarding respite care eligibility or care provider qualification, contact Child Care Aware at 800-424-2246 or Nellis Family Child Care at 702-652-4400.