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Congresswoman Grace Meng

Representing the 6th District of New York

Meng, Gillibrand & Cotton Legislation to Improve Childcare Services for Military Families Passes House

Jul 27, 2017
Press Release
Measure expected to soon be voted on in the Senate
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Grace Meng (D-NY) and U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Tom Cotton (R-AR) announced that the House has passed their legislation to improve childcare services for military families.

The measure passed as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the annual legislation that sets funding levels and policies for the U.S. Department of Defense, in both the Senate and the House. Gillibrand introduced the original Senate provision with Cotton to give military families with children better support and more flexibility when they use child care facilities on military installations or seek child care from community providers. The House passed the bill on July 14 and the Senate is expected to take up the measure soon.

The Meng companion provision would enhance the hours of operation for Department of Defense childcare development centers, and establish childcare coordinators for military installations. The amendment text can be found here.

“Those who serve our nation must be afforded the resources they need to care for their families and that includes important child care services,” said Congresswoman Meng. “Our provision would ensure that members of the military have access to the flexible child care options they need and I applaud my colleagues in the House for approving it. I look forward to our measure now being passed by the Senate.”  

“Our military families sacrifice an enormous amount for our country, but their unique needs are not being met by our military’s current approach to child care,” said Senator Gillibrand, the Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee. “This bipartisan provision would help boost our military’s readiness and retention by making sure our military families have access to child care that actually meets their needs. I am urging my Senate colleagues to maintain this provision in the NDAA to make sure our extraordinary military families always have the resources and support they need and deserve.” 

“I’m very pleased to see our child-care provision was included in the House NDAA bill. We’re one step closer to giving military families the support they deserve,” said Senator Cotton.

Also included in the House-passed version of the NDAA were two other amendments sponsored by Meng that seek to improve the lives of women in the military. The provisions would:
1)     Require the Secretary of Defense, as recommended by the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services, to issue a single guideline for pregnant service members that outlines decisions, actions, and requirements relating to pregnancy, the postpartum period, and parenthood. The 2016 report is available here. Amendment text can be found here.
2)     Require the Secretary of Defense, as recommended by the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services, to review the design, material, sizing, price, availability, quality, and utility of maternity uniforms for pregnant members of the military. The 2016 report is available here. Amendment text can be found here.