Free UTA childcare available for Reservists

  • Published
  • By Jessica L. Kendziorek
  • 403d Wing Public Affairs

When it comes to Unit Training Assembly weekends, reserve parents sometimes have an extra stressor to think about aside from their civilian job and that is… who is going to watch the children?

Keesler’s Family Child Care office has licensed providers for the reserve parents who need childcare for their children ages 2 weeks to 12 years old during UTA weekends, and if it is available on or off base, it is free.

“We’re here to support our military families; either by providing free providers through the FCC program, or by helping find affordable childcare outside of the base,” said Anita Hymes, community childcare coordinator for the FCC.

Hymes said that while the process is simple there are some eligibility requirements, which are as follows:

- Must be a military service member
- Member of the Reserve or National Guard
- Assigned to an Air Force Guard or Reserve Unit/Installation
- No other adult in the household available to provide care
- AF Form 40As must be provided for rescheduled UTAs
- Completed Air Force FCC Expanded Childcare Request form

While the child development center is closed on weekends, the FCC’s Home Community Care program is available to provide childcare for reservists. Servicemembers must sign up through the FCC office. Reservists can contact the FCC office directly or contact Patricia Jackson, 403rd Wing Military & Family Readiness Center director at or call 228-376-8253, to request a form.

Other important considerations that parents look for is “Who is going to watch my child?”

The FCC program has multiple requirements and training that is required to become a provider. The provider applicants must complete a wealth of training including, but not limited to, infant, child, and adult CPR, pediatric first aid, child guidance, Family Child Care policies and program management, nutrition, health and safety, and parent relations.

Hymes said they routinely inspect the providers’ homes unannounced to make sure they are up to required regulations, providers must undergo background checks, and each provider is limited to watching no more than six children including their own.

“We are always looking for more providers,” said Hymes. “Spouses or family of service members can apply to become a FCC provider; they just need to reach out to our office.”

While the benefit of childcare is free for a reservist’s UTA weekends, there are other FCC benefits available.

“Any service member who is going on a temporary duty assignment, on a deployment, or even dealing with a medical emergency can apply for additional benefits and assistance.” said Hymes.

For more information on all of the ways the FCC program can make childcare easier to find and more affordable, reach out to Hymes at or call 228-376-1146, contact  Jackson, or visit the Department of the Air Force Child and Youth education services webpage by clicking here.