Program Overview


Sharing some exciting news — U.S. Army Reserve families now have access to covered childcare during drill weekends through Upwards! This program allows our heroes to focus on serving our country while knowing their loved ones are in safe hands.

The U.S. Army has launched an innovative childcare pilot program aimed at improving access to high-quality childcare services for Army Reserve Soldiers and their families. The program operates through intergovernmental support agreements (IGSAs), formal public-to-public arrangements established to provide installation support services. West Liberty, Iowa, and Clay County, Missouri both competitively selected the Upwards (formerly WeeCare) Company to assist them in providing childcare services for U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers and families in their communities due to Upwards’ technological capabilities and childcare network.

Upwards’ mobile app simplifies the process of finding, touring, and enrolling with local, licensed childcare providers. Additionally, an advanced matching algorithm provides real-time childcare availability, reducing administrative burdens and wait-lists for military families. This technology-driven approach reflects the program’s commitment to meeting the evolving needs of Army Reserve Soldiers and their families.

Get all the details about how to sign up for the program and get childcare for drill weekends covered here: https://upwards.com/benefits/military



What is the start date for the program?

Our program has started — families can (and are encouraged to) enroll right away! The first drill weekend we will provide covered care for is in September 2023.

How do parents access the program and get started?

  1. Parents register on the USAR program landing page, via email (heroes@upwards.com), or by calling (816) 670-3286 to connect with a Care Manager.
  2. Download the app on an Apple or Android device.
  3. Submit a care request detailing child information (i.e., birth date, zip code, etc.) as well as the hours and schedule of their care needs, their preferred provider type, budget, and other information helpful for Upwards to match them to the right provider.
  4. The Care Manager will share provider matches with the family, and parents can review and select their preferred provider.
  5. The Care Manager will help the family connect with the provider, set up a tour, enroll in care, and manage the post-enrollment experience.

After enrollment, parents can manage everything through the Upwards app, including payments, communication with the provider and their Care Manager, drop-in care requests, photo and video updates, and even more.

How does Upwards support my family with finding care?

Upwards has a team of dedicated Care Managers who work solely with families to match them with providers in their neighborhood who meet the criteria of their needs. The team supports families through finding care, setting up tours, helping with enrollment, managing the families post-enrollment experience, and even more.

Is this program only for weekend care while members are at drill, or will the credits apply to part-time or full-time care as well?

This current pilot program is strictly for drill weekends, battle assemblies, and emergency deployments. Tuition payments for parents are fully covered only during drill weekends, battle assemblies, and emergency deployments.

Will the total cost of care be offset, or will there be a time when the Soldier will need to pay a portion?

Through the program, families do not pay any childcare costs during drills, battle assembly, and emergency deployment.

However, Upwards is here to support families to find care outside of those times as well. Upwards can help families find care for any care needs, such as part-time, full-time, and drop-in care. Families would be responsible for childcare tuition costs outside of drill weekends, battle assemblies, and emergency deployments. Upwards’ childcare providers are 20-30% more cost-effective, and all support and safety and deposit placement fees are additionally waived, saving parents approximately $2,500 in fees.

Who submits payment to the care provider?

Upwards pays the provider as a reimbursement once care has been provided to families. Families are not responsible to pay the providers, Upwards handles all payment to providers.

Is my “Matchmaker” the person who handles payments?

The matchmaker’s role is only to match parents to a childcare provider and support families. Our billing system managers handle all provider payments.