What you should know....
FIRST! | RESPITE CARE IS NOT CHILD CARE.
While often confused (and for a good reason), you cannot use Respite Care as child care if the military is providing the subsidy. This means you cannot work, get an education, or sometimes even leave the house if you are using respite care (in most instances). Child Care on the other hand, can be used for work and furthering your education.
SECOND! | THIS PAGE IS GEARED TOWARDS FAMILIES WHO ARE EXPLORING WHAT CARE LOOKS LIKE FOR THEIR EFMP CHILD FOR THE FIRST TIME.
This page will give you basic accessibility information on both child care and respite care. This is not an exhaustive source of information, just an outline of your options to save you time in your journey.
DO YOU HAVE AN EFMP CHILD WHO NEEDS CHILD CARE?
RESPITE CARE BY BRANCH
Do you have an EFMP child and YOU need respite care?
This will be updated soon to encourage standardization; at this time, you can find individual requirements through your branch of service.
The U.S. Army rolled out a new website for families to enroll in EFMP directly. Respite Care through the Army is capped at 25 hours per month. The Service Member must be active duty or on Title 10 orders while actively enrolled in EFMP. The EFM must be Level 3 or Level 4 and reside with the service member. Respite care providers are selected and screened by the Department of Army Headquarters (DAHQ). You can apply for Respite Care if qualifying through the portal above.
Air Force/Space Force
Representation did not return requests for information, the following information was obtained through a series of third-party resources and confirmed by those within the program.
Respite Care through the Airforce is capped at 40 hours per month and must be active duty. Guard and Reserve members can apply for this care if activated for at least 31 days. Siblings are included at no additional cost. This care can be in the families home or in certain licensed centers. To be eligible for this care, the EFM must be between the ages of birth and 18, as well as diagnosed with a moderate or severe special need. If a sibling is to be included in these 40 hours of care, they must be under the age of 12. The Airmen must be stationed at a participating Air Force location; in the cases of a geographical separation, the child must be located near a respite care site. *The Air Force currently handles their own respite care and a search portal is not available. The Air Force Medical Service still refers to Child Care Aware, which is outdated and inaccurate* If your family is facing a unique situation that you feel should qualify, you can request an exemption to policy through your local command. Please contact the Family Child Care Coordinator who will work with DAF Services staff at 1 (800) 443-4828.
The Marines EFMP Respite Care program offers eligible enrolled families up to 20 hours of monthly reimbursed respite care. Sibling care is not prohibited and is an agreement between the family and the provider. Family members must be under 18 years old to qualify. Families can select their providers, including friends or family members with the required skills and experience, and are approved by USMC EFMP. These providers must have medical certification or licensure.
You will find your geographic location and contact the respective office to get started. See the contact information here
Respite Care through the Navy is capped at 40 hours per month. The Sailor must be on active duty (or a Reservist on active duty orders) and enrolled in the EFMP program. The child must be currently residing with the Sailor and must be a category 4 or 5. The Navy currently runs its Respite program through Child Care Aware of America. You can access more information by emailing NavyEFMPrespite@usa.childcareaware.org. The accessibility of this resource depends on funding and availability. Navy CYP authorized Child Care Aware of America to allocate funding to local agencies providing the care. https://www.navycyp.org/outreach/efm-respite-care
TRICARE INSURANCE RELATED RESPITE CARE
ADDITIONAL EFMP RESOURCES
Every state varies on eligibility and accessibility, you can find your state contacts here
If you quality for medicaid you can check for special waivers to assist with the cost and access of Respite Care. These are state specific.