San Diego, CA – Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA), Chair of the House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee, and Congresswoman Sara Jacobs (D-CA), member of the House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee, issued the following statement after reviewing two San Diego-based military sites to provide oversight of child care and housing for sailors and Marines.

“The good news is child care facilities on installations we toured met the gold standard in most cases. The bad news is the wait lists are unacceptably long, some 3,000 children in San Diego are affected, and existing facilities are drastically under-staffed because of lack of decent pay. For too long, the military services have ignored the danger that child care and housing needs pose to military readiness and retention, as well as the quality of life of their servicemembers and families, who serve as well,” the members said. “The fact that at least 60 child care centers are failing or in poor condition throughout the services, and more than 21,000 military children are on waitlists for child care with immediate need, should make this a top priority. Instead, the military services only requested construction funds for two child care center projects in their budget requests for Fiscal Year 2023. This is unacceptable and we will ensure that the blatant failure to address this national security problem gets the attention it needs and deserves.”

Chair Speier visited Naval Air Station North Island on Thursday and Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton on Friday, where she was joined by Rep. Jacobs. The purpose of the visit was to visit Military Child Development Centers (CDCs) and barracks, and receive updates on critical programs for military families, including the Exceptional Family Member Program and the In-home Child Care Pilot Program. Chair Speier held roundtables at both sites with parents and spoke with servicemembers at all levels about what steps should be taken to ensure their needs are met.

Chair Speier has previously spoken with numerous servicemembers about substandard housing and with military families about the severe lack of child care capacity as well as the failure to invest in maintenance and expansion of CDCs throughout the military. In the San Diego region, the wait lists at military installations can exceed a year and impact thousands of children. That and the lack of modern and safe housing for servicemembers poses a serious threat to military readiness, mission focus, retention, and morale.

In light of that threat, Chair Speier and Rep. Jacobs are leading efforts to secure Military Construction and Facilities Sustainment, Restoration, and Modernization funding for military child development centers (CDC) and unaccompanied enlisted housing and barracks in the annual appropriations bill.

Below is a list of wait times and the number of children impacted at San Diego installations for 2021:

 

Camp Pendleton

Number on wait list: 558 children

Average wait time for child care: 127 days

 

Naval Base Coronado

Number on wait list: 745 children

Average wait time for child care: 193 days

 

Naval Base San Diego

Number on wait list: 1,001 children

Average wait time for child care: 171 days

 

Naval Base Point Loma

Number on wait list: 532 children

Average wait time for child care: 165 days

 

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar

Marines at Miramar

Number on wait list: 431 children of Marines

Average wait time for child care: 172 days

Sailors at Miramar

Number on wait list: 461 children of sailors

Average wait time for child care: 164 days

 

Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego

Number on wait list: 534 children

Average wait time for child care: 165 days

 

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