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DSS Plans to Open Child Care Assistance Program to Military Child Care Centers

The Louisiana Department of Children & Family Services (DSS) is moving to help the state's low-income military families afford child care on military bases located in the state.

The agency has issued a Notice of Intent to create a new Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) provider type, Class M, that would allow child care centers licensed by the Department of Defense (DOD) to become eligible for CCAP funding, along with all eligible children who attend that center.

"Allowing Louisiana's military families to access funds available to the rest of the state is one more way we can provide assistance to active duty men and women who sacrifice so much for our country," said DSS Secretary Kristy Nichols.

Previously, policies denied men and women serving in the United States military access to CCAP benefits when their children are cared for at centers licensed by the DOD. However, military children can receive benefits if they attend CCAP child care centers off base.

"The Department of Defense maintains very high standards for its licensed child care centers," said Nichols. "This new CCAP classification will remove the disparity that existed when low-income members of the military were forced to overlook high-quality facilities located on Louisiana's military bases in order to afford child care."

In Louisiana, the only DOD child care center that has applied to be a Class M CCAP provider is the Child Development Center at Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier City Discussions are underway with the Ft Polk Child Development Center to participate in the CCAP program as well.

Any person who wishes may submit written comments about this Intent of Notice through January 25, 2010, to Deidria W. Bolden, Assistant Secretary, Office of Family Support, PO Box 94065, Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9065. A public hearing will be held at 9:00 a.m. on January 26, 2010, at the Department of Children & Family Services, Iberville Building, 627 N. 4th St., Seminar Room 1-129 in Baton Rouge.

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