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AER Offering $1,500 For Childcare Costs

childcare money for army families

$1,500 For Childcare Costs From Army Emergency Relief

Childcare costs can be a huge drain on your budget. In some cases, the cost of childcare can mean a spouse decides not to pursue their own career.  The Army Emergency Relief program can help with this.

Army Emergency Relief, also known as AER, started back in 2020, providing up to $1,500 to help cover the costs of childcare for soldiers and families. This option includes payments of $500 per month for three consecutive months in a no-interest loan, grant, or a combination of both based on financial need.

This program is intended to offset the cost when a family has to use more expensive civilian services when there isn’t availability at on-post childcare facilities. On-post facilities are usually more affordable than those you find beyond the military installation.

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Is It Enough Help?

The Army Fee Assistance Program also offers soldiers up to $1,500 per month per child for childcare but sometimes even that isn’t enough.

The Director of Army Emergency Relief went on record saying, “Right now the capacity for the on-post childcare facilities isn’t able to meet the demand,” he said. “The Army is looking at that, trying to figure out how they can expand. It’s not something where you can just snap your fingers. You have to build more capacity and then you have to hire more childcare providers.”

Qualifying For AER

In order to qualify for this AER program, soldiers must be active-duty or in the Active Guard Reserve and have permanent change of station orders (PCS orders) to a location in the continental US. They must also provide proof of their out-of-pocket childcare expenses and show their financial need every month at their local AER office. They also need to submit their initial request within the first 120 days after the family arrived to their new duty station.

While this program is only for the Army, there are other programs out there to help with childcare for all branches. Childcare Aware of America offers programs through the Army, Navy, Air Force, and the Marine Corps.

Childcare Aware of America offers fee assistance and respite childcare, offering a network of more than 10,000 licensed childcare providers.

>> Read next: Military Money 101 <<

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