Finding childcare at your next duty station may be easier with the subletting program. One challenge to military spouse employment is childcare. Childcare on base is based on priority – dual military spouses first, then a military service member and a working spouse, then a military service member and a spouse in school, then a military service member and a spouse looking for employment. It is hard to find a job when you can’t interview. The subletting program may help those looking for employment or for spouses who need to coordinate their own medical appointments or need a break.
Air Force bases will roll out the new application, Kinderspot, in 2024 to allow for ease of subletting childcare spots at participating childcare development centers (CDCs). It is already active at 29 Air Force bases, including the new additions of Beale Air Force Base and Vandenberg Space Force Base, California; Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington; Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany; and Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri as of November 15th. Beyond the 29 Air Force Bases, Kinderspot is utilized at the following Joint Bases: Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C.; Joint Base Andrews, Maryland; Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska; Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia; and Joint Base San Antonio, Texas. The subletting of childcare spots will allow other families to “rent” the spots that the current CDC families don’t need, and if rented, will provide a credit to those families.
To sublet spots, families must complete all the required paperwork for the CDC and be verified before being able to utilize the Kinderspot app. The rate for the childcare spot will be based on the renter’s family income, not the family who has the permanent spot at the CDC. The subletting is based solely on the spot available. For example, if a family with a permanent CDC spot will be away for the holidays in December, they can add their two available weeks for the infant room on the Kinderspot app. Only an infant from another family can fill that spot. The fees will be paid directly to the CDC, not to the family that is putting the time up for sublet. This also allows families with permanent CDC spots to get a financial break when not using the CDC without losing their permanent childcare spot.
The Kinderspot application was created by Air Force Major Jacque Vasta, who modeled the application after applications utilized to sublet homes like AirBnBs, an application many military families utilize to find temporary lodging when moving.
The Kinderspot application is available for both Android and Apple phones. Since its inception in 2021, the application has 6200 users with almost 4,000 rented spots. As of now, no other military branches are using the Kinderspot application.