Department of Defense to boost funding for child care in Oklahoma

By: - October 13, 2023 5:29 am

A child works with a wooden puzzle set for early development. Oklahoma military service members now have expanded access to community-based child care through a federal subsidy program. (Photo by Daria Nipot/Getty Images) (This image cannot be republished unless you have a subscription to Getty.)

OKLAHOMA CITY — Thousands of active-duty military parents may qualify for financial support to help with child care costs as a federal program expands into Oklahoma.

The Department of Defense has announced plans to expand its Military Child Care in Your Neighborhood PLUS initiative to include local providers who are licensed by the state. Military service members, including National Guard and reserve, can apply for a day care subsidy when on-base day care is unavailable and in communities with long wait lists.

Oklahoma joins Nebraska and Michigan as the latest states to receive the child care support boost, according to a release from the Oklahoma Department of Human Services. The federal program is now available to parents living in 14 states.

Interested providers and parents can visit

Oklahoma qualifies for the expansion because of its high concentration of military families and its lack of access to child care.

Nearly half of the state’s 77 counties are classified as child care deserts, meaning there are not enough centers and employees to meet demand.

Oklahoma is home to nearly 40,000 active-duty military, including National Guard and reserve service members. Those service members have more than 27,000 children.

Brittany Lee, Oklahoma Department of Human services director of Child Care Services, said in a statement that the agency is excited to partner with the Department of Defense and is grateful to providers for stepping up to help military families.

“Oklahomans are known for taking care of each other, and we are incredibly fortunate to have  a wealth of military families within our state,” she said.



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Mindy Ragan Wood
Mindy Ragan Wood

Mindy covers the legislature for Oklahoma Voice. Her areas of focus include infrastructure, municipal government policies, and human services with an emphasis on the needs of intellectually vulnerable and physically challenged adults.