As Democratic and Republican leaders continue to try to work out a long-term solution to funding the government, President Trump’s proposed budget has emerged as one key starting point in the negotiations. One potential change in the budget could have a large impact on people connected to Corvias Scholars: substantial cuts to child-care programs for military families.
The military has a reputation for providing excellent child-care, with over 700,000 children participating in one of the military’s many child-care programs. Programs are affordable, with parents paying on a sliding scale based on income, and ninety-five percent of the programs are nationally accredited. The programs have been justified by the demanding nature of the military’s work, and the need to ensure army kids have a place where they can receive a stable source of high-quality support and education.
In President Trump’s proposed budget, such programs would receive about $100 million less in funding. MilitaryTimes was unable to determine why these funding levels would decrease after the proposed budget was unveiled.
Losing such programs could make it difficult for military spouses to pursue employment, or eliminate a source of support for spouses parenting alone during a deployment.
However, funding for military family support programs saw a net overall increase in President Trump’s budget due to a $200 million increase in ‘warfighter and family services.’ While a breakdown of that additional funding was not available, advocates for military families suggested it may not be enough to keep up with the demands of a growing military.
It’s also important to note that military child-care services have already been impacted by budgetary negotiations. Bases in Wiesbaden, Germany, and Fort Knox, Kentucky had to temporarily close certain child-care services after a hiring freeze issued by the President made it difficult to hire enough staff to keep the facilities open. While it is possible to ask for exceptions to the hiring freeze, a sluggish hiring process has led to long wait lists for spots in child-care facilities across the military.
This is also not the first time programs benefiting military families have been targeted for cuts. In one example, programs that allow military children to use the GI bill have been targeted for elimination as a budget-saving move.
While none of these cuts are imminent, the fact that they are emerging in proposed budgets certainly suggests that they may be coming down the pipeline. It will be important to stay tuned to see how the budget might ultimately impact military families, and to speak up if ultimately these changes produce effects that matter a lot to you. Contacting your representatives in Congress is a fantastic way to show elected officials what is important to you, and is particularly important with issues like this that only affect a subset of our population. Websites like https://contactingcongress.org/ make it easy to find your representatives’ phone numbers and email addresses. As these potential changes to military programs take shape, consider speaking out if this issue matters to you!
When the idea of writing for our Corvias Blog is presented to both current scholars & alumni, the answer tends to be one of the following:
“I don’t write very well.”
“I don’t have anything too interesting to talk about.”
“I don’t have time to dedicate to writing every month.”
“You won’t want to read what I want to talk about.”
“I’m not into that whole ‘blogging’ thing.”
I am here to tell you something – you don’t have to be good at writing, you don’t have to have the most interesting life of all time (though we all have super interesting parts of our life that we may not even always notice!), and we ALL want to read what you have to say. Also, if you fall into that last category that I didn’t directly mention because I can’t imagine how someone COULDN’T love blogging – give it a chance! No better platform to start off on than our Corvias Connects page.
So, here are a couple of ways that you may not have originally considered that you could provide material for our blog.
- Photo Story
You can post an entire story of just photos that highlight a recent trip you took, a study abroad experience, a service learning experience, your year in school, a cultural tradition, the way your city celebrates a holiday, a bunch of inspirational quotes & self-love posters, a collage of your four+ years of college that demonstrate how you’ve evolved, etc. Seriously, the opportunities are endless with photos.
A fancy blogging term for a video blog. Many individuals like to watch people in a video so that they can listen while doing other things. You can upload a video of yourself talking about something you’re interested in or passionate about, a life update, a tour of your new college campus (there are SO many beautiful ones out there!), a review of a book you just read, or even your 4-minute story that we developed during the Corvias Alumni Summit.
- Traditional Written Piece
I typically go for the written piece because I can start, come back, and edit as I please. However, these can be written in so many fashions – lists of tips/tricks for school or a specific hobby/talent, movies & shows to watch, music to listen to, best places to go in your city, top reasons you are thankful you found or have X in your life, etc. You can write a narrative about an experience you had or a topic you are passionate about. This can be formal or informal, documenting thoughts or facts & literature. It can be personalized to fit whatever you want!
After completing your piece, you can send to Katie Newton, Paul Hovey, Tom McGuire, or myself (Samantha Seifert) to upload directly to our account for publishing. Next step – everyone loving it & telling you how great of a blogger you have become in such a short time. 😉
I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone and let others be impacted by the things going on in your life & your mind. You never know who might need to hear what you have to say.
I found this picture during one of my Pinterest sprees this week- and I found it so important & have printed it out to put above my desk at home. I think that going into this finals/holiday season, it is important to remember how we can care for ourselves. Finals can cause you to feel overwhelmed, insecure, or unsure of yourself and your future- but with proper self-care and planning out your studying schedule ahead of time, you can make this season much more bearable and rewarding.