Stars and Stripes: House passes bill to offer free child care at VA facilities nationwide

WASHINGTON – The House easily passed legislation Friday to provide free child care for some veterans at Department of Veterans Affairs facilities nationwide.

The Veterans’ Access to Child Care Act, H.R. 840, would make permanent a pilot program the VA began in 2011 to provide child care for veterans who need the VA for intensive medical and mental health care, such as cancer treatment or care for post-traumatic stress disorder. Because the program expires after one year, Congress had to reauthorize it each year since 2011.

Rep. Julia Brownley, D-Calif., has sought to make the program a full-time service and expand it to VA locations nationwide.

“My bill makes that pilot program permanent, finally,” Brownley said Thursday during a House Rules Committee hearing. “We have renewed it year, after year, after year.”

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