Kuster Provision to Ensure Access for Services Included in Veterans’ Access to Child Care Act
Washington, DC, February 8, 2019
Kuster’s floor remarks can be viewed HERE.
Today, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) applauded passage of H.R. 840, the Veterans’ Access to Child Care Act. Kuster is a cosponsor of the legislation, which would expand and make permanent the VA’s Child Care Pilot Program, giving all veterans seeking mental health treatment with VA safe, reliable, and free child care. The bill includes provisions from an amendment introduced by Kuster that would ensure VA accounts for any travel burdens, excessive driving or geographic challenges veterans may face in accessing these child care services.
“After everything veterans have done for our country, they should never be prevented from treating their PTSD, depression, or any other psychological wounds because they can’t find a safe place for their child,” said Kuster. “This legislation will give veterans the security of having access to free, quality child care while they receive mental health treatment. I’m pleased my provision was included in this bill because it would help veterans get the child care assistance that best suits their needs. Veterans’ suicide and mental health is a top priority, and my provision would make sure challenges surrounding access to child care services does not hinder a veteran’s ability to make crucial appointments.”
The VA child care pilot program was authorized by Congress in 2010 and offered at a small number of VA medical centers and clinics, serving over 10,000 children. The program has been very popular in the veteran community and is used by women veterans at a rate four times higher than the general veteran population. The pilot program has been reauthorized several times, but it will expire on October 1 if Congress does not act.