AMERICAN LAKE: Murray Announces Extension of VA Child Care Pilot Program

Sep 17 2014

Murray authored program clears major hurdle in House

Set to expire September 30, successful two-year project offers free drop-in services for veterans seeking medical care at VA facilities 

Bill heads to Senate, expected to be passed and signed into law       

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, has announced the House of Representatives has cleared legislation containing an extension of her successful Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) child care pilot program, which operates at the American Lake campus in Tacoma. Senator Murray originally authored the pilot program in 2008 as part of her Women Veterans Health Care Improvement Act in order to assist parents in need of child care during medical appointments at VA facilities. Senator Murray fought to include the pilot program as part of the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010, which then passed into law. The measure now heads to the Senate, where it is expected to pass in the coming days. The provision would extend the child care pilot program through December 31, 2015.

“Too often our nation’s heroes, especially our women veterans, come home and are faced with the challenge of child care,” said Senator Murray. “For those who have so bravely served and are coping with wounds of war, accessing affordable and reliable child care should not be an additional challenge. By offering child care at VA facilities, at no cost to our nation’s heroes, we are helping to ensure veterans continue to receive the seamless care they deserve. I am proud of the work being done on this program at American Lake and am grateful that Puget Sound veterans and their families will continue to benefit from these services.”

In addition to her child care pilot program, the Department of Veterans Affairs Expiring Authorities Act of 2014 (H.R. 5404), a bipartisan, bicameral bill of veterans-related programs set to expire in coming months, authorized two additional Senator Murray-authored pilot programs, including:

  • Readjustment counseling to women veterans in group retreat settings; and
  • Expanded eligibility for VA’s specially adapted housing assistance grants to certain veterans with disabilities due to the loss or loss of use of one or more lower extremities that preclude ambulating without the aid of a supporting device.