If you want to kick-start a conversation among Navy families, bring up the topic of child care. But beware, because discussing the wide range of child care struggles for a Navy family is much swapping particularly contentious sea stories— the lack of options, costs, length of child care development center (CDC) waitlists, limited hours, and so much more. Unfortunately, this is a societal issue that affects all working families. But Navy life adds to the challenge. A mother who wants to return to work after the birth of a child begins researching child care options long before the baby arrives, and the stress never ends until the child has grown up and left home (and most parents would agree the worries never really fade.) Sailors know this all too well, especially those in single-parent or dual-military households. And being in the reserve component adds an extra layer of unique challenges.
Child Care Is a Fleet Problem
Managing child care is a problem for every parent. But it's daunting for dual-military families and often is worse for Reservists.
By Lieutenant Commander Alison Maruca, U.S. Navy Reserve