Military families face a distinct set of challenges—from frequent moves and deployments that can disrupt daily life. One of the most critical concerns for many military families is finding reliable, high-quality child care.
To address this issue and support military families, the Department of Defense (DoD) launched the Military Child Care in Your Neighborhood (MCCYN) program in June 2023 in several states across the United States.
If you’re a military family in Onslow County looking for child care, MCCYN may be a good option for you.
For over a decade, the military has provided fee assistance to eligible military families to offset the cost of child care in community programs when on-installation child care was unavailable.
The Military Child Care in Your Neighborhood Program (MCCYN) is a new initiative designed to expand opportunities for military families in accessing high-quality child care services.
If you live in an area with an extensive waiting list for child care or you are geographically dispersed from a military installation, MCCYN provides fee assistance for using nationally-accredited child care providers in the community. MCCYN partners with Child Care Aware of America to administer the program.
What is MCCYN-PLUS?
In 2021, the MCCYN program was expanded to create MCCYN-PLUS. The purpose of the expansion was to bridge the gap in locations where accredited care is unavailable for military families.
The MCCYN-PLUS initiative uses the individual states’ Quality Rating and Improving Systems (QRIS) as an indicator of provider quality. This replaces the standard MCCYN program criteria which relies on natural accreditation. By leveraging each state’s QRIS system, MCCYN-PLUS broadens the pool of providers for military families.
MCCYN-PLUS is available in North Carolina as well as Arkansas, Colorado, Kentucky, Maryland, Nevada, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Miami-Dade County, Florida. New states continue to join the initiative.
All military families looking for child care should request care on MilitaryChildCare.com for the installation where you live—or will be moving to during PCS season. This is the easiest way to access care on the installation and also provides critical data to inform military and community leaders about child care needs.
In Onslow County, most facilities have waiting lists for care on base and in town. The longest wait is typically for infant care. For example, MCB Camp Lejeune’s on-base child care program has up to eight infant classrooms with a capacity of just eight infants, and most civilian centers only have 1–2 infant classrooms.
If you are an active duty Service Member with a spouse who works full-time, the wait for an infant spot can extend 4–6 months for care on the installation. By making a request on MilitaryChildCare.com and applying for MCCYN-Plus, military-connected families have the best chance to access care as soon as possible.
MCCYN provides fee assistance for families of active duty military who are unable to access installation-sponsored child care. Child Care Aware of America manages the entire child care fee assistance program. For information on eligibility and how to apply, visit their website here.
One Place is dedicated to supporting military families in Onslow County through a number of critical resources. From preparing for deployment or locating mental health resources to educating families about high-quality early education and providing enhanced child care referreals to all military families, we connect families with helpful services.
Read our Military Family Resource Roundup here.