House Passes Legislation To Provide Child Care At VA Facilities For Visiting Patients

Look what happens when “politicians” work together for the good of the country! A good piece of legislation like this emerges.

On Friday, the House of Representatives passed legislation providing “free” child-care for veterans at the Department of Veteran Affairs buildings throughout the nation.

A study had determined that before 2011, 10 percent of the VA patients who had children had to reschedule appointments because the facility lacked child care. That was a major barrier for veterans which needed to be seen for treatment.

The bill labeled the Veterans Access To Child Act passed the House with a vote of 400-9. Similar legislation has been introduced in the Senate and awaiting passage.

The Veterans’ Access to Child Care Act, H.R. 840, would make permanent a pilot program the VA began in 2011 to provide child care for veterans who need the VA for intensive medical and mental health care, such as cancer treatment or care for post-traumatic stress disorder. Because the program expires after one year, Congress had to reauthorize it each year since 2011.

“My bill makes that pilot program permanent, finally,” Brownley said Thursday during a House Rules Committee hearing. “We have renewed it year, after year, after year.”

Free child care services are now available only in Buffalo, N.Y., Northport, N.Y., Dallas, Texas., and the VA Puget Sound Health Care System and the VA Northwest Health Care Network in Washington.

The VA later estimated more than 10,000 children had used the program by 2015, and women veterans used it in significantly higher numbers than men.

This is an excellent move by the VA. Child care is a big problem for working parents and veterans. Of course, I can hear the objections coming in already as some might deem it as just another giveaway, but as a veteran, this means so much to me.

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