Pentagon: Military child care cuts may have been mistakes

The Pentagon said Tuesday that cuts to military child care programs at two Army bases may have been unnecessary.

The bases said they were suspending the services because of the federal hiring freeze President Donald Trump announced Jan. 23. But a Defense Department official said a memo issued this month made clear that child care workers are exempt.

On Tuesday, parents with children enrolled in part-day child care programs at the U.S. Army garrison in Weisbaden, Germany, were notified the programs will close March 1. Parents were told the closure results from a staff shortage created by the freeze.

Pentagon spokesman Johnny Michael said officials are aware that Fort Knox in Kentucky also announced service cuts at its child development center.

"We are working through the chain of command with these installations to ensure that they are taking advantage of the ability to seek exemptions," Michael said.

A Feb. 1 Pentagon memo, sent to the heads of all military departments, listed the many categories of workers who are exempt from the freeze. They include "positions providing child care to the children of military personnel."