Child Care is No. 1:

Asked at a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing last week which of four choices—health care, housing, daycare, and education—would he rank as the top concern for airmen, the Air Force’s top enlisted man replied: “Without question, I would put No. 1 as child care. … There are not enough spaces available. In replying to the question from panel chairman Chet Edwards (D-Tex.), CMSAF Rodney McKinley added, “With so many military working together on active duty in the Air Force and also spouses having to work” the cost of going downtown to find daycare space is “just enormous” in some cases. McKinley said he’s heard the complaint from base to base. What would be No. 2, 3, and 4? Next on the list for airmen, said McKinley, would be health care, maintaining its quality, updating facilities, and dealing with “intruding issues” like securing enough doctors and dentists. No. 3 would be education, including accommodating college-age children so they don’t lose in-state tuition rates if their parents get transferred to another state. Edwards noted that a measure on that very issue passed in the House. (Read McKinley’s written testimony)