Teddy’s Child Watch removes a barrier to health 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 Teddy’s Child Watch exists, hospital administrators report a 30% drop in no show rates. Siblings kept out of clinic areas have reduced exposure to other sick patients. The financial duress of childcare adds to military families missing doctors’ appointments.
The result of Teddy’s Child Watch 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, childcare continues to be a top need. The report reads, “Additional support for flexible and affordable childcare remains a top request, with 66% of military families indicating they are not always able to find the childcare 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 childcare.’”
This program, free at most locations, responds to a critical need, supporting military families’ access to health care. Military base daycare centers are typically at full capacity or have limited, or no drop-in capability. Teddy’s Child Watch centers allow parents to attend scheduled appointments without the need to find someone to watch their children.
The Armed Services YMCA operates Teddy’s Child Watch in the following locations: