Children's Waiting Room removes a child care as a barrier to health care. This program, free at most locations, responds to a critical need. Military installation child care centers are typically at full capacity, or have limited or no drop-in capability. Children's Waiting Room centers allow parents to attend scheduled medical appointments without the need to find someone to watch their children.
When families have the ability to drop off their children inside the hospital at no cost, they are more likely to attend scheduled appointments. Siblings kept from clinic areas have reduced exposure to other sick patients. The financial duress of child care adds to military families missing doctors’ appointments.
The result of Children's Waiting Room is that more military family members are receiving the medical care needed, improving the overall health of our military families.
According to the Blue Star Families 2016 annual Military Family Lifestyle Survey, child care continues to be a top need. From the report: “Additional support for flexible and affordable child care remains a top request, with 66% of military families indicating they are not always able to find the child care they need. When asked, ‘What could DoD do to make it easier for you to ensure your family is healthy and happy during your loved one’s military service,’ the top theme among qualitative responses was ‘offer accessible and affordable child care.’”