Here’s What the Budget Proposal Means for Military Family Support

Here’s What the Budget Proposal Means for Military Family Support
A sailor assigned to the Virginia-class fast-attack submarine USS New Hampshire (SSN 778) embraces his family during the boat’s homecoming at Naval Station Norfolk, Va., in May. (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Cameron Stoner/Navy)

DoD’s FY 2022 budget request includes $8.6 billion for military family support programs – a $200 million net increase from the previous year. The increase is driven by enhanced funding requirements for facilities sustainment, restoration, and modernization of Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) schools.

 

Below are some key programs this budget request will fund, as well as a further breakdown of the allotments by service. While these figures are only proposed budget lines, MOAA is committed to ensuring military spouses and families are provided with the services and support to maintain a good quality of life and enhanced well-being.

 

DoD-Wide

  • Child Care and Youth Programs: Funding for child development programs, which serve over 160,000 children, and youth and teen programs, which serve over 853,000 military-affiliated youth ($1.6 billion)

  • Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) Programs: Funding for mission-sustaining programs such as fitness centers, libraries, and single servicemember programs; voluntary education; and recreation programs such as outdoor recreation and auto skills centers ($1.8 billion)

  • Warfighter and Family Services: Funding for family support centers and non-medical counseling support services for active duty, National Guard and reserve members and their families ($1.7 billion)

  • Commissary: Funding for the Defense Commissary Agency to operate 236 commissary stores aboard military installations worldwide, employing a workforce of over 12,000 civilian employees ($1.2 billion)

  • DoDEA Schools: Funding to support the education of more than 69,000 military children ($2.4 billion)

 

[RELATED: Commissary Director Talks COVID-19 Response, Modernization, and More]

 

Further assessment of individual services’ budget proposals provides more insight on specific increase or decreases from the FY 2021 budget. Click on the name of each service for official budget documents.

 

Army

  • An $88 million increase in funding for Child and Youth Services (CYS) to include the Army Fee Assistance Program to expand access to comparable quality child care and provide Army families additional opportunities when access to installation child care is not available, expansion of Family Child Care subsidies, the replacement of kitchen and playground equipment, and continued efforts to attract and retain high quality child care providers.

  • A $5.2 million increase in funding for the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) to provide additional family support staff to manage enrolled EFMP families and the enhanced enterprise EFMP systems. This will provide greater access to EFMP System Navigators and Coordinators across Army installations.

  • A $3.2 million increase in funding to sustain or improve MWR options at remote and austere installations where there are fewer off-post activities, including improvements to fitness centers and community activity centers.

  • A $20.7 million decrease in funding for the Strong Bonds program and the Commander’s Risk Reduction Dashboard.

  • A $1.9 million decrease (elimination of 20 full-time employees) for family readiness support assistants based on projections for reduced operational tempo and deployments.

  • A $6.9 million decrease in funding for planning and executing the Warrior Games and for U.S. participation in the Invictus Games (the Army led this DoD-wide effort in FY 2021 and rotates out of the responsibility in FY 2022.

 

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Navy

  • A $4.7 million increase in funding to sustain military child care capacity and reduce the current waiting list.

  • A $1.5 million increase in funding to support additional EFMP case managers.

  • A $1.1 million increase in funding for Navy family support programs.

 

Marine Corps

  • An $11.8 million increase in Child and Youth Development Programs funding to reduce high child care waiting lists at installations with expanding operations; to meet increased demands in center care; and for various programs such as extended duty, home, and community care, 24/7, and specialty needs programs.

  • A $9.2 increase in funding for MWR programs.

 

[RELATED: Inside the Biden Budget: Details on Pay Raise, TRICARE Fees, and More]

 

Air Force

  • A $940,000 increase in funding to provide supplies and materials in support of a new EFMP cell at the Air Force Personnel Center and Air Force Headquarters.

  • A $3.4 million increase in funding for EFMP to ensure adequate service to 36,000 airmen and 54,000 special needs family members.

  • A $6 million increase in funding for MWR programs.

  • A $9 million increase in funding for Child and Youth Programs.

  • $20 million for a new child development center at Sheppard AFB, Texas.

 

Additionally, the DoD budget request includes $5 million for an “In-Home Child Care Fee Assistance Pilot” which is aimed at servicemembers who do not have access to care at a military installation but opt to use in-home care. An increase of $16 million, DoD-wide, is included in the FY 2022 budget request to fund roughly 2,000 additional spaces in the services’ community-based child care fee assistance programs, primarily in the Army and Navy.

 

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About the Author

Jen Goodale
Jen Goodale

Goodale is MOAA's Director of Government Relations for Military Family Policy and Spouse Programs.