The MFRC can help Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) families who qualify, with unexpected and unique child care challenges by supporting them with the facilitation of short-term emergency child care requirements.
Military families are encouraged to have a Family Care Plan (FCP). However, families may sometimes face situations where conditions of service in the CAF prove too challenging for the FCP to accommodate; when this happens additional child care support may be available.
The MFRC may subsidize a family’s child care request through direct child care services, expense reimbursement or through the coordination of independent child care services on a short-term basis.
A military family may be eligible for up to 96 hours of subsidized child care, or in special circumstances, reimbursement for child care expenses.
Emergency Child Care needs and eligibility are assessed on a case-by-case basis during times of emergency. To learn more about Emergency Child Care eligibility, funding, and options for your family, contact the MFRC Family Support Worker.
Families may be supported by Emergency Child Care services under many unique circumstances including:
- When the Canadian Armed Forces member must report for duty on short notice or is away on tasking and neither their primary or secondary caregiver identified on their Family Care Plan is available to care for their children.
- When your family requires emergency respite child care while the Canadian Armed Forces member is away, for essential health and well-being;
- When the Canadian Armed Forces member requires emergency short-term child care to secure essential necessities that have not already been covered through IRP within three months after posting;
- When the Canadian Armed Forces member or any member of your family has been seriously ill or injured; or when there is a death of a family member.
How to Access
Weekdays from 8:30am to 4:00pm call (780) 973-4011 ext. 6300 and indicate that you are calling for Emergency Child Care.
Weeknights, weekends and holidays call (780) 973-4011 and ask to speak to the Emergency Chaplain or follow the automated prompts for “Emergency Chaplain”.
MFRC Deployment Respite Childcare
Deployments can cause additional stress on families with children who are solo-parenting. There are several programs and policies in place to help support you and your family in times of emergency by providing assistance in either accessing childcare or covering a limited amount of childcare expenses.
As part of the Emergency Child Care Services, Respite Child Care may be available when the CAF member is absent due to a military-related tasking (i.e. deployment, course, exercise, etc.) and the family requires a period of respite for their continued health and well-being.
Registration and Eligibility
Each family situation is considered on a case-by-case basis and assessed individually. Parents/guardians will speak with an MFRC Family Support Worker in-person or over the phone who will assist by developing a plan that best suits the well-being of the family and children, during what could be a stressful time. A limited amount of funding may be available to cover childcare related costs to families who qualify for a maximum of 96 hours. Please have the dates of the military member’s absence (date leaving and expected date of return) as well as the name of the member’s Unit (confirmation of absence is required).
Please be aware, there may be circumstances where the MFRC is unable to find a provider within a short period of time, therefore, a thorough family care plan is strongly recommended.
Families that qualify may choose to use the MFRC Casual Care program, during the recurring and designated Casual Care dates. Hours are limited and based upon availability. Alternate options may include the use of an in-home caregiver, day home, or drop-off day program that would meet your needs. The MFRC partners with a number of community agencies to provide these services.
Weekdays from 8:30am to 4:00pm call (780) 973-4011 ext. 6300 and indicate that you are calling for Deployment Respite Child Care.
How to Access
Your Family Care Plan
A big step in preparing for a deployment is building a team around you. With preparation and support, the unexpected can be more manageable. You can reduce some of the stress and worry by identifying contacts who are able to step in and help you out when things go awry.
What is a Family Care Plan?
A Family Care Plan is a mandatory Department of National Defence form (DND 2886-E) with a list of individuals who can quickly step in to assist when unforeseen events occur while the CAF member unable to assist due to work obligations or is away due to operational requirements.
Considerations when choosing your contacts
- If I become injured, who can I count on to help me?
- If I am running late, who can pick my children from school/daycare?
- How long will it take for my back up person to assist?
- Can my back up person drop everything to assist my children and I?
- I have to work outside of regular daycare/school hours, who can watch my children?
- My spouse and I are a dual service couple, what happens if I am tasked away while my spouse is away?
- Can any of my contacts transport me to an appointment?
- If my immediate back up person is unavailable, who can I call next?
Beyond a Family Care Plan
In addition to the Family Care Plan, it is helpful to have detailed personal instructions about your child(ren) including medical information, bedtimes, bus-stop times, favourite foods and any other information you would want a caregiver to have. Having this information handy can minimize the stress placed on your child when you are not with them. Military families who are pet owners should also consider adding their pets to their Family Care Plan. If the caregivers listed in your Family Care Plan are unavailable, your family may be able to access the MFRC Emergency Child Care Service.
To see a copy of the Family Care Plan visit:
Find out about CAF Family Care Assistance for Single Parents & Dual Service Couples:
Contact the MFRC
Phone: (780) 973-4011 ext.6300