The Livingston County Veterans Committee is fine tuning a policy that will help veterans with children further their own education.

The 5-member Veterans Services Committee further worked out details on what is essentially a re-launch of their Child Care Relief policy, Wednesday night. Enacted 8 months ago under previous leadership, but with no promotion, Veterans Services has yet to see one veteran take advantage of it. This had led the current committee to revisit it. The program is meant to provide temporary child care relief to a veteran returning to school, until they are able to secure affordable child care on their own. Under the newly proposed draft policy, applicants would be eligible for 4 months of assistance, and then be required to apply every four months following. Proof of classes and passing grades would be required.

One area the committee was split on, is whether there should be a limit to the number of times one can receive assistance. Members Jim Wallace and Commissioner Bob Bezotte who sits on the committee, were in favor of a 1-year limitation, to ensure assistance was temporary. Kevin Nagle argued that if the committee has the ability to deny any application, then limiting the time for relief was “ridiculous.” Chairman Joe Riker said he could see both sides, and that having gone through college as a parent himself, would have been happy to receive any help with child care.

The committee agreed to have their director draw up 2 new drafts for consideration next month, one with the stricter limits than the other.

Regardless of how they vote, Riker said this is a proactive effort to bring in the younger veterans from Iraq and Afganistan who they don’t see using their services to the extent that Vietnam veterans do. (MK)