DoD Priority Changes

The purpose of military child care is to support the mission of the DoD by serving DoD-affiliated families so that they may fulfill their military or DoD-related duties. In February 2020, the Office of the Secretary of Defense issued a memo to update the priority system and clarify when military families will receive priority access to child care, including supplanting lower priority families with children in care. The new priority framework is as follows:

  1. Priority 1A – Child Development Program Staff
  2. Priority 1B – Single/Dual Military Members and Military Members with a Full-Time Working Spouse
  3. Priority 1C – Military Members with a Part-Time Working Spouse or those with a Spouse Seeking Employment
  4. Priority 1D – Military Members with a Spouse Enrolled Full-Time in a Post-Secondary Institution
  5. Priority 2 – Single/Dual Department of Defense Civilians or with a Full-Time Working Spouse
  6. Priority 3 – Space Available

In addition to the priority categories, families will be prioritized based on an order of precedence within each category.

Priority 1A – Child Development Program Staff

All families where the sponsor is a Child Development Program Staff member will have the same priority regardless of spouse status.

Priority 1B – Single/Dual Military Members and Military Members with a Full-Time Working Spouse

  1. Priority 1B.1: Active Duty Combat-Related Wounded Warrior
  2. Priority 1B.2: Single/Dual Active Duty Military/Coast Guard
  3. Priority 1B.3: Single/Dual Guard/Reserve on Active Duty or Inactive Duty Training Status
  4. Priority 1B.4: Active Duty Military/Coast Guard with Full-Time Working Spouse
  5. Priority 1B.5: Guard/Reserve on Active Duty or Inactive Duty Training Status with Full-Time Working Spouse

Priority 1C – Military Members with a Part-Time Working Spouse or those with a Spouse Seeking Employment

  1. Priority 1C.1: Active Duty Military/Coast Guard with Part-Time Working Spouse or Spouse Seeking Employment
  2. Priority 1C.2: Guard/Reserve on Active Duty or Inactive Duty Training Status with Part-Time Working Spouse or Spouse Seeking Employment

Priority 1D – Military Members with a Spouse Enrolled Full-Time in a Post-Secondary Institution

  1. Priority 1D.1: Active Duty Military/Coast Guard with Full-Time Student Spouse
  2. Priority 1D.2: Guard/Reserve on Active Duty or Inactive Duty Training Status with Full-Time Student Spouse

Priority 2 – Single/Dual Department of Defense Civilians or with a Full-Time Working Spouse

  1. Priority 2A: Single/Dual DoD or Coast Guard Civilian
  2. Priority 2B: DoD or Coast Guard Civilian with Full-Time Working Spouse

Priority 3 – Space Available

  1. Priority 3A: Active Duty Military/Coast Guard and Guard/Reserve on Active Duty or Inactive Duty Training Status with Non-Working Spouse
  2. Priority 3B: DoD or Coast Guard Civilian with Spouse Seeking Employment
  3. Priority 3C: DoD or Coast Guard Civilian with Full-Time Student Spouse
  4. Priority 3D: Gold Star Spouse (Combat-Related)
  5. Priority 3E: Single/Dual DoD Contractor or DoD Contractor with Full-Time Working Spouse, Spouse Seeking Employment, or Full-Time Student Spouse
  6. Priority 3F: In no order of precedence:
    • DoD or Coast Guard Civilian with Part-Time or Non-Working Spouse
    • DoD Contractor with Part-Time or Non-Working Spouse
    • Deactivated Guard/Reserve Personnel
    • Other Federal Employees
    • Military Retirees

Refer to the Military Family Types and DoD Priority handout as a resource.

Changes in Priority Structure

Several changes were made to the family types and their related priorities on 1 September 2020.

  1. Employment status will continue to determine a family’s priority; however, spouses working full-time are given a higher priority over those working part-time. A program user must confirm full-time or part-time working status before enrolling a child in care.
    • To be considered full-time working, the spouse must work at least 30 hours per week or 100 hours per month OR work less than 30 hours per week or 100 hours per month and be enrolled in a post-secondary educational institution.
    • A spouse who works less than 30 hours per week or 100 hours per month and is not enrolled in a post-secondary institution and considered part-time working.
  2. To qualify as a student spouse, the spouse must be enrolled in a post-secondary institution on a full-time basis. A program user must follow their Service’s guidance when obtaining proof of full-time student status before enrolling a child in care. If a spouse is not enrolled full-time, then the spouse’s status in MCC should be indicated as non-working.
  3. To qualify as an Active Duty Combat-Related Wounded Warrior, the sponsor must be in active duty status and require hospitalization, extensive rehabilitation, or significant care from a spouse or care provider and require full-time child care. Prior to receiving an offer for care, (a) the sponsor must confirm on their household profile that they meet the definition, (b) an authorized program user at the installation must obtain approval from the Installation Commander to prioritize the family as an Active Duty Combat-Related Wounded Warrior, and (c) an authorized program user must update MCC to document they have received Installation Commander approval by accessing the View Waitlist from the My MCC Dashboard.
  4. Sponsors who are Active Duty Military/Coast Guard or Guard/Reserve on Active Duty or Inactive Duty Training Status with a spouse who is a full-time student or seeking employment are prioritized higher than DoD and Coast Guard Civilian employees.
SUPPLANTING

Priorities are now used for more than just placement from the waitlist; they also inform which families can be supplanted. To improve military members’ access to child care, the Office of the Secretary of Defense directed changes to policy that include supplanting lower priority patrons when necessary. Under the new policy, lower priority families enrolled at a facility-based program may receive written notification that their child will be disenrolled in 45 days to accommodate a higher priority family. If supplanted, families can reapply for care and ask a program staff person to update their request for care (RFC) date to reflect the date the child started care at the program from which they were supplanted. Please note: requests for updating RFC dates must occur within 30 days of the child's last day in care after being supplanted and only pertain to programs and providers in the geographic area where the family was supplanted.

What family types can and cannot be supplanted?

Family types that cannot be supplanted include:

  • Child Development Program Direct Care Staff
  • Active Duty Combat-Related Wounded Warriors
  • Single/Dual Active Duty Military/Coast Guard
  • Single/Dual Guard/Reserve on Active Duty or Inactive Duty Training Status
  • Active Duty Military/Coast Guard with Full-Time Working Spouse
  • Guard/Reserve on Active Duty or Inactive Duty Training Status with Full-Time Working Spouse

Family types that may be supplanted include:

  • Active Duty Military/Active Duty Coast Guard with a part-time working spouse, a spouse seeking employment, a student spouse, or a non-working spouse
  • Guard/Reserve on Active Duty or Inactive Duty Training Status with a part-time working spouse, a spouse seeking employment, a student spouse, or a non-working spouse
  • DoD/Coast Guard Civilians
  • DoD Contractors
  • Other eligible patrons (Deactivated Guard/Reserve Personnel, Other Federal Employees, and Military Retirees)

For more details about supplanting, review the Military Family Types and DoD Priority – Supplanting Matrix handout.

Last revised: 21 Apr 2021