Emergency & Respite Child Care

The H&R MFRC is pleased to support military families with the following child care options to help families manage the challenges of the unique military lifestyle.

A. PLANNING for the UNEXPECTED

FAMILY CARE PLAN

A Family Care Plan is a mandatory Department of National Defence form that helps prepare families of Canadian Forces members in case of unforeseen events, emergency callouts and planned deployments. By identifying primary and secondary caregivers who should be contacted in the events of an emergency or military tasking, your Family Care Plan supports your family in your absence.

All Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel must submit Family Care Plans (DAOD 5044-1A) to their unit. Download it here.

EMERGENCY CHILD CARE PLAN

An Emergency Child Care Plan, like a Family Care Plan, speaks for you when you are not able to. While the Family Care Plan resides with the Canadian Armed Forces member’s file, the Emergency Child Care Plan will assist anyone you’ve designated in the event of an emergency.

An up-to-date Emergency Child Care Plan provides:

  • the names and contact information of your preferred child care providers;
  • medical information, family doctor, MSI numbers
  • school or daycare information, bus-stop times
  • allergies, children’s diet
  • routine details

Keep a copy of your plan for yourself and give a copy to a trusted friend or relative as part of your backup plan.

B. EMERGENCY CHILD CARE

LAST RESOURCE, ALL OTHER OPTIONS HAVE BEEN EXHAUSTED

The Emergency Child Care (ECC) Policy within the Military Family Services Program (MFSP) provides families with support by facilitating short-term emergency child care requirements. A military family may be eligible for up to 96 hours of subsidized child care, or in special circumstances, reimbursement for child care expenses. When you call for assistance, an assessment is made of your needs and resources so an action plan can be developed and approved.

The Emergency Child care service is available 24/7 however, it may take several hours to put care in place. For more information (902) 427-7788 or 1-888-753-8827.

THE ECC POLICY SUPPORTS MILITARY FAMILIES IN THE FOLLOWING CIRCUMSTANCES:

1.1. When CAF personnel are required to report for duty on short notice or are absent due to a military-related tasking, and neither their primary nor secondary child caregiver as identified in their Family Care Plan (FCP) is available to care for their children;

1.2. When CAF personnel are absent due to a military-related tasking (including the pre- and post-deployment phases), and the family requires a period of respite from child care responsibilities for continued health and well-being*; (please note Emergency Respite differs from Preventative Respite in that Emergency Respite is to be used as a last resource when all other options have been exhausted and the health and well-being considerations are significant.)

1.3. When CAF personnel require short-term temporary child care in order to secure essential necessities (e.g. search for housing and employment, etc.) when newly posted, up to a maximum of 3 months after posting;

1.4. When CAF personnel or any of their family are seriously ill/injured and participation at medical, mental health or social support service appointments is required, or respite from child care is necessary to aid in their recuperation; or

1.5. When CAF personnel or any of their family have died and the family needs support through the repatriation, funeral and bereavement process.

1.6. With today’s operational tempo and the modern military family, emergency child care assistance may be required in different circumstances than covered above, therefore requests may be approved at the discretion of the MFRC Executive Director. In exceptional cases and to ensure consistent expectations, the family will be advised that their situation is outside of the policy guidelines.

C. CASUAL CARE

The casual care program is a non-licensed child care program for children 3 months to 12 years offered at the Halifax and Shearwater MFRC sites. It is available to all military families for a low cost, and is offered Monday through Friday and select Saturdays. Children must be pre-registered to attend. This is a great option as care is available whether the military member is deployed or not.

D. PROGRAM-RELATED CHILD CARE

Child care may be available to attend a program, deployment activity, workshop, training or other special events at the H&R MFRC. When registering for events, ask about the availability of casual care. Programs offering child care have registration deadlines at least 3 days prior to the program being held. Some programs will cover the full cost of child care while others will subsidize the care for families.

E. PREVENTATIVE RESPITE - DEPLOYED FAMILIES

If a situation is not considered an emergency but child care would be considered beneficial to your well-being, a period of preventative respite child care may be available to you. Families may be eligible to access up to 72 hours of casual child care, at no cost to the family. Families must be experiencing a deployment longer than 30 days. When you call for assistance, an assessment is made of your needs and resources so an action plan can be developed and approved. For more information call (902) 817-2925.

Child care supporting employment is not eligible. Families experiencing Imposed Restriction are not eligible for preventative respite. Exceptions may be made in unique circumstances.

SPECIAL ARRANGEMENTS

Special arrangements may be considered on a case by case basis. Special arrangements may include finances, care outside of regular casual care hours or accommodating a child who may require additional supports (due to medical conditions and/or challenging behaviors).