Virginia Chosen by U.S. Dept. of Defense for Pilot Program to Provide Military Families with Quality Early Childhood Opportunities

In videotaped remarks, Mrs. Suit praised the men and women in uniform who are called upon to sacrifice in many ways to protect and serve the citizens of Virginia. Speaking on behalf of Virginia First Lady Maureen McDonnell, Mrs. Suit reiterated the Commonwealth’s commitment to treating military children and families with the deep appreciation and care that they deserve.

“The great people in our military perform best when they know their children are being cared for back home,” Mrs. Suit said. “This initiative will have a tremendous impact on the ability of our military service members to ensure that their children are in safe, high quality care and learning programs while they are defending our nation.”

The U.S. Department of Defense created the pilot program to support the large number of military families that do not live on an installation. The outreach initiative will collaborate with federal, state and community partners with the goal to increase access to quality affordable childcare for families of members of the Armed Forces.

The DoD will appoint a Child Care Liaison to be housed at the offices of the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation at 8001 Franklin Farms Drive in Richmond. This appointee will work closely with the VECF and partner organizations to assess the quality of childcare and after-school care offered to military personnel, and to identify opportunities for improvement in communities where military families live.

Scott Hippert, President of the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation, remarked, “Today’s young children are tomorrow’s workforce and military service members. It is an honor to partner with the DoD and its mission to improve the quality of life for military personnel so that their children will succeed in school and in life.”

“We salute the commitment of our military families, which goes above and beyond the call of duty all too often,” concluded Tom Chewning, former EVP and CFO of Dominion and board chairman of the VECF. “This innovative partnership initiative with the DoD represents our strong commitment to these families, so that they can have peace of mind about the care and education of their young children while they are keeping the peace for our state and our nation.”