Although the end of the school year is just around the corner, it may not be too late for military families to access education services and education allowance dollars.
During the first school year at a new posting dependent family members of a Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) regular or reserve member are eligible for Educational Compensation and Benefits overseen by Children’s Education Management (CEM) through Military Family Services, a division of Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services.
“CEM recently enhanced support to families to include guidance counselling services to help children transitioning into new schools due to the relocation of the CAF member. We have two guidance counsellors here on staff, and it’s not too late in the school year to access their services,” said Marc Bélanger, director, Children’s Education Management.
The CEM Guidance Counselling Service mandate is to provide families with information and educational tools to mitigate potential academic lapses due to discrepancies in school systems.
The guidance counsellor can also help military families in the interpretation of one school board curriculum versus another and understanding of the differences between various credit systems and equivalencies.
Distance learning courses may be suggested by the counsellor in situations where the student is deficit in meeting academic requirements in the new school or where a student is ineligible to graduate.
An education allowance to cover official language instruction is also available to military families through CEM if a student’s language deficiency can be attributed to the posting of the CAF member from one province to another and is not due to the child’s choice of language or subjects.
Language tutoring may be paid for if the child requires the help to graduate. In a letter to CEM, the student’s principal must recommend the language training, outline the deficiency and recommend the number of hours of tutoring required.
“Parents need to obtain quotes on cost of tutoring from three qualified language tutors with teaching certificates. The Treasury Board will then authorize reimbursement based on an average of the three quotes,” said Bélanger.
All claims should include the original recipes for all expenses being claims, and members should retain receipts for their records.
CAF families find themselves in unique and varied life situations. Before making any decisions or arrangements, members should contact Morale and Welfare Services and make themselves familiar with the specific allowances and benefits their family is entitled to.
To access guidance counselling services or to learn more about language tutoring allowances please visit the Children’s Education Management Program website.
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