Sometimes finding childcare is the hardest thing to fine when you PCS… and it’s often something families need right away. Here’s a great resource. The following article is from the Air Force site, but this is open to all branches of the US Armed Forces:
Free program helps Airmen find local sitters
by Tech. Sgt. Mareshah Haynes
Defense Media Activity
1/11/2012 - FORT GERORGE G. MEADE, Md. (AFNS) – Airmen now have another option when it comes to choosing a caretaker for their children, pets and homes and even tutors.
Sittercity helps connect people who need babysitters, nannies, pet sitters, tutors, housekeepers and adult caregivers with reputable and trusted service providers. Now, the Department of Defense has funded the membership cost so service members can take advantage of the program for free.
The original vision of Sittercity when it was founded back in 2001 was to create a place on the internet where parents could go to find that perfect care provider for their family, said Melissa Anderson, the president of Sittercity’s Corporate Division.
“We invented the concept of matchmaking for care providers,” she said.
The program allows military parents to post jobs with the requirements of what they consider to be the perfect sitter. They can include specifications like sitters who have access to military installations or military-subsidized care providers.
Once the job is posted, sitters apply directly to that job. The parents receive targeted cover letters through email explaining the sitters’ qualifications. Then, the parents can choose from the applicants which one best suits their needs. The communications go directly through the site until they feel comfortable enough to connect with them personally.
“On average, each job post gets 11 applicants,” Anderson said. “We connect a military family with a care provider every seven minutes.”
Tech. Sgt. Tanya King, of the 446th Airlift Wing at Joint Base McChord-Lewis, Wash., and her family took advantage of the service after they made a permanent change of station to a place where they had no family members.
“It was pretty simple,” King said of her experience using Sittercity. “There are thousands of childcare providers on the site, and you can narrow them down to specific things. Being military, there are times when our child is sick we can’t just leave work to go pick up our kid from daycare. We were able to find sitters who would watch our daughter if she was sick and would come out to the base and pick her up. We also have a dog, so one of our criteria was that the sitter would be willing to care for the dog too.”
The care itself is not free.