Children's Waiting Room removes a barrier to health care: child care. When families have the ability to drop off their children inside the hospital at no cost, they are more likely to attend scheduled appointments. In locations where Children's Waiting Room exists, hospital administrators report a 30% drop in no-show rates. 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.’”
This program, free at most locations, responds to a critical need, supporting military families’ access to health care. Military base 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 appointments without the need to find someone to watch their children.
The Armed Services YMCA operates Children's Waiting Room in the following locations: