Family Care Assistance for New Recruits


Family Care Assistance for New Recruits

Case number


Through the Committee’s review of grievances, it has observed that it is not uncommon for new recruits to be single parents. This is reflective not only of ongoing socio-demographic change, but also of the willingness and desire of these Canadian citizens to become members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) despite the additional and significant challenges they face as single parents.

The CAF acknowledged these challenges by providing the Family Care Assistance (FCA) benefit, under Compensation and Benefits Instruction (CBI) 209.335, to help defray the costs of childcare for single parents when they are removed, for service reasons, from their place of duty or their family home for a period of 24 hours or more. However, because the provisions of CBI 209.335 only apply to members on short-term assignments (i.e. Temporary Duty (TD) or attached posting), this means that the CAF does not currently provide such a benefit to new recruits who are single parents. Like single parent members on TD, these new recruits are being sent on training and separated from their dependants. Often, these periods of separation requiring expensive child care for dependants can even exceed one year. Consequently, there appears to be a very real need for consideration of a FCA-like benefit applicable to the childcare needs of single parent new recruits.


Given that the CAF is competing as an employer to attract committed and competent new recruits, including single parents, the Committee recommended that the Chief of the Defence Staff consider directing that a new benefit be created to assist these new single parent recruits with the onerous costs of childcare that must be incurred during the timeframe where the new recruit is undergoing basic and occupational training and is prohibited from moving their dependants to live with them. Pending creation of such a benefit, the Committee recommended that the Ministerial discretion found at CBI 209.013(2) be used to compensate these members.

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