CONGRESSMAN JOE MORELLE VOTES TO EXPAND CRITICAL ACCESS TO CHILDCARE FOR VETERANS IN NEED
(Washington, DC) – Today, Rep. Morelle joined his colleagues in the House in voting to expand access to childcare services for veterans who face mental or intensive physical health struggles.
“No veteran should be forced to choose between caring for their child and getting the medical treatment they need,” said Rep. Morelle. “The least we can do for these courageous men and women who served our nation is to ensure that nothing stands between them and these critical lifesaving services. I am grateful that this common-sense legislation will provide much-needed peace of mind and support for veteran families across America.”
“The transition from military to civilian life is often challenging as families deal with changes in income, moving into a new home, job searches, physical disabilities, trauma from service, and more. As a community, we must do everything possible to support veterans through this process, particularly in allowing them the time and resources needed to heal,” said Laura Stradley, Executive Director, Veteran’s Outreach Center. “We are so thankful that Congress and the VA are working together to find new and innovative ways to care for those who have worn their nation’s uniform. Veterans Outreach Center commends Congressman Morelle for his work in helping to pass this legislation.”
Millions of working families across the nation are struggling to afford the rising cost of child care. Families in New York often pay upwards of $15,000 each year to place one child in a child care center.
For veterans these struggles can be even more severe, as many are primary caregivers to their children or grandchildren. These brave men and women rely on the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) for their healthcare, but many of them are forced to miss appointments or forgo treatment altogether because they cannot find or afford child care options. This is not only devastating financially, it is dangerous – each day, 20 American veterans take their own life, often due to mental health struggles. Veterans should never have to miss a potentially life-saving medical appointment because they do not have adequate or reliable childcare.
Currently, the VA operates a pilot program to provide cost-free child care to help primary caregivers seeking mental health treatment at selected VA facilities across the country. This legislation would expand this essential service to every VA facility in the nation, allowing thousands more veterans to receive cost-free child care and ensuring they never have to choose caring for their family over caring for their own mental and physical well-being.