Posted on May 12, 2004
WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) today announced the launch of "Operation Child Care" a national, voluntary effort led by NACCRRA (National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies) to provide free child care for National Guard and Reserve military personnel returning for two weeks of rest and recuperation leave from Iraq and Afghanistan. "These are the child care providers of our country who are giving free child care service to the men and women who are coming home for leave from Iraq and Afghanistan. It's a wonderful gift and a good example for the rest of us," said Alexander during the news conference at the Capitol. "I'm here to salute the child care providers of our country and thank them for this gift to our military men and women." Alexander was joined by Linda Smith, executive director of NACCRRA; Wade Horn, Health and Human Services assistant secretary; Linda Kitzmiller, director of Positive Learning Adventures in Chuckey, Tennessee; Christina Milton, director of Chris's Circle of Friends in Norwich, Connecticut; Kathy Moakler, deputy director of the National Military Families Association; and Capt. David Hartwell, an Army Reserve Officer with the 199th Movement Control Team, his wife, Kimberly, and 2-year old daughter, Janelle. Child care providers from across the country have pledged their support to National Guard and Reserve service men and women by donating a minimum of four hours of child care services. This service will help relieve stress and give parents valuable time to be together and to deal with family business. Today, 40 percent of our deployed service men and women are National Guard and Reservists. Two-thirds of these troops do not live near a military base or post, so their families do not have access to many of the support services that might otherwise be available. Several other national organizations are also supporting the NACCRRA effort: the National Cooperative Extension System; the National 4-H Program; the National Child Care Association; the National Association of Family Child Care; and the Child Care Bureau, United States Department of Health and Human Services.