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Children/Youth Resources

Air Force Child Development and Youth Programs support active duty, Air Guard and Reserve Components and geographically dispersed service members and their families.  Airmen must balance the competing demands of parenting and military service, particularly challenging in today’s environment of higher operations tempo, increased mobilization, and longer periods of time away from home.  The Air Force is committed to serving these Airmen and their families by reaching out and assisting them through robust child, youth and family programs, wherever the member resides.

Child Care

Readily available, affordable, and quality child care and youth programs are a workforce issue with direct impact on mission readiness.  The Air Force provides child care for children from 6 weeks to 12 years old in on-base Child Development Centers (CDCs) and School Age Programs (SAPs) housed in Youth Centers and from 2 weeks to 12 years at Family Child Care (FCC) Homes.  There are also a variety of deployment support programs available to families with deploying parents.

Youth and Teen Programs

Air Force wide Youth Programs on all major installations serve approximately 68,000 youth.   The school age component includes before and after school care, care on school holidays and during summer months, specialty and summer camps and part-day preschools for parents of children aged 5-12 years old.

For more sources of child and youth information, please check out the Additional Resources Links.

 Child Care

Child care is provided in on-base Child Development Centers (CDC’s), School Age Programs (SAP’s) housed in Youth Centers and Family Child Care (FCC) Homes.   Child Development Centers provide care for children 6 weeks to 5 years of age.  School Age Programs provide child care both before and after school, and full day care during non-school periods including summers and school vacations.  Family Child Care homes enroll children aged from 2 weeks – 12 years, and serve as the primary method to deliver services for evening, weekends and extended shifts.

The Military Child Care Act, DoD policy and Air Force policy require programs to provide Quality, Available and Affordable child care spaces that comply with standards designed to protect the health and safety of children and ensure that the care received helps them develop the attitudes and skills related to success as adults. 

Child development programs are inspected each year and must remain in compliance with DoD and Air Force standards to be DoD certified annually.   The Air Force requires that CDCs be accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and school age programs be accredited by the National After-school Alliance.  The National Association of Family Child Care offers accreditation to FCC providers

For those parents who don’t require full day child care, hourly child care is available in CDC’s, SAP’s, and  FCC homes through a variety of established Hourly Care Spaces, or in spaces vacant due to child illness or vacation.

The Family Child Care Subsidy program may be available to reduce out-of-pocket child care expenses when the on-base Child Development Center is not available for care.  Airmen use family child care homes and pay the same weekly fee they would pay in an on-base center.

Deployment Support Child Care 

A diverse array of approaches to provide Airmen and their families with child care are available to support our families outside of typical duty schedules, or in geographically separated areas.

Air Force Extended Duty Child Care Program (EDC) 

Air Force Extended Duty Child Care Program (EDC) provides extended child care each month in Family Child Care homes at no-cost to the military member.  The initiative enables Airmen and their families to obtain high-quality child care from Air Force licensed or affiliated providers at or near their base when parental workloads increase due to longer duty hours and exceed their typical 50-hours per week child care arrangements.  Child care is provided for non-traditional hours, such as evenings and weekends at no additional costs to parents.  The initiative also helps parents with “child care emergencies” when their regular source of child care is not available.  Care is provided for spouses of deployed or TDY Airmen needing child care created in part by absence of spouse.

The Air Force Extended Duty Child Care program is available to Active Duty/ANG/AFR members and provides necessary child care to allow members to focus on the mission and reduce loss of duty hours.

Air Force Returning Home Care (RHC) Program

Air Force Returning Home Care (RHC) Program supports Airmen returning home from deployments lasting 30 or more days and for Airmen who routinely deploy on a short-term basis (cumulative of 30 days in a six-month period) in support of contingency operations. 

Airmen receive 16 hours of free child care upon their return to their home station and their family.  The care is provided in one of the Extended Duty Family Child Care homes on base that is currently under contract.  This program supports post-deployment by providing child care while Airmen and spouses reconnect.

Air Force Missile Care program

Air Force Missile Care program is provided at three installations and is designed to provide care for those Airmen required to work several consecutive 24-hour shifts at missile sites (FE Warren, Minot, Malmstrom).   This program meets an extremely specific child care need that is unavailable in most communities.    

Other Child Care 

Other Child Care Programs provide short term support for busy or stressed parents, and are supported by the Air Force Aid Society (AFAS).

Air Force Child Care for PCS Program is intended to help relieve some of the stress felt by families during a PCS move.  AFAS pays up to 20 hours of child care (per child) in licensed FCC homes on base. Air Force families with PCS orders can obtain care at both the base from which they are departing and at their new base within 60 days before the family's arrival/departure from a base.

Air Force Give Parents a Break (GPAB) is offered to provide eligible parents with a few hours break each month from the stresses of parenting.  GPAB provides child care at no-cost to parents who are subject to unique stresses due to the nature of military life—deployments, remote tours of duty, extending working hours.

The program provides child care for parents referred by base agencies such as, the Airman and Family Readiness Center, Chapel, Family Advocacy Office, Hospital, First Sergeants, Commanders, and the FMP Flight.

Air Force Child Care for Volunteers enhances and expands participation in the installation volunteer program by making child care for volunteers’ children available in licensed family child care homes.

Child Care Support for Air National Guard, Air Force Reservists and Geographically Separated Airmen

Air Force Home Community Care (HCC) Program is an initiative offered at various stateside locations and all Installation Family Child Care Programs.  The program provides free in-home quality child care services to ANG and AFR members during their scheduled drill weekends so that the ANG/AFR member is able to train and be ready to mobilize.  HCC helps reduce the Airman’s out of pocket expenses by providing quality child care services to ANG/AFR members similar to those available to military members assigned to or living on a military installation. 

Military Child Care in Your Neighborhood (MCCYN) is designed to meet the child care needs of service members living in off-base areas where on-base military child care is not available.  Eligible members include recruiters, Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) instructors, Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) personnel and geographically dispersed members on independent duty assignments that cannot access the quality, affordable care available on military installations.  The program is operated through the National Association for Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA).

Operation Military Child Care (OMCC) is a child care subsidy program designed to assist activated ANG/AFR members with child care costs in their local communities, in state-licensed, off-installation Family Child Care Homes.  Military members such as recruiters, those who are geographically dispersed, on special duty assignments and all military members in active duty status not assigned near a support base are eligible for subsidized child care.  The program also provides a subsidy for 60 days while non-military spouse is looking for work. The program is operated through the National Association for Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA).


Youth and Teen Programs

The Air Force provides  youth programs for youth and teens aged from 5-18 on all major bases, and houses school aged child care which supports employed parents of youth aged 6-12 years.  The programs help youth transition from base to base, military life to civilian life, or high school to post-high school.

Activities are offered in the five core program areas:

  • Character and Leadership Development
  • The Arts
  • Youth Sports, Fitness and Recreation
  • Health and Life Skills
  • Education and Career Development   

Youth Program Partnerships

AF Services partners with national youth serving agencies to provide a wide range of program and services for youth, including:

  • Boys & Girls Clubs of America
  • USDA/4-H
  • National Alliance for Youth Sports
  • National Afterschool Association
  • Congressional Awards Program

Boys and Girls Clubs of America:  The Air Force/BGCA partnership has been active since 1995.  All Air Force youth programs are affiliated with BGCA, and utilize program resources, staff training opportunities and resources to benefit children and families worldwide.  

4-H Partnership:  The AF 4-H Partnership expanded opportunities for youth who were enrolled in 4-H clubs on stateside and overseas bases.  The programs reach children on Air Force bases and numerous ANG/AFR units through quality 4-H programming.


Youth and Teen Specialty Programs

The Congressional Award Program is a national program that recognizes young adults (14-23 years of age) for setting and achieving individual goals in four areas:  voluntary public service, physical fitness, expedition/exploration and personal development

  • Open to youths, AF members, spouses and civilian employees
  • When possible, members of Congress present awards at local bases

Air Force Youth of the Year is a recognition program administered by Air Force Services in conjunction with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (B&GCA).  The program recognizes youth’s outstanding contributions to a member’s family, school, community and youth center, as well as personal challenges and obstacles overcome.  ANG/AFR youth are eligible and have participated in the Youth of the Year events.

Youth Employment Skills (YES) is an Air Force Aid Society funded youth employment program.  Youth are able to “bank” funds toward post-high school education by doing community service.  Youth are eligible for up to $1000 scholarships.

Air Force FitFactor initiative is a web based fitness program that encourages youth between the ages of 6-18 to be active everyday and make healthy nutrition choices.  Youth earn points and achieve five different levels for the activities they perform every day.  A small fitness related incentive is provided at each level to encourage youth to continue to Get Up, Get Out and Get Fit. 

The Air Force Youth Camping Program offers a variety of summer camp opportunities that appeal to the varied interests of the youth. 

  • The Air Force Services Youth Camping program includes residential camps, specialty camps and MAJCOM camp programs. Many Air Force youth participated in these camps annually.
  • Activities in these camps are designed to help youth develop to their fullest potential, contribute to their self-worth and assist them in resisting negative pressures.  
  • Camps are open to dependents of Active Duty assigned to o living on an Air Force Base, Air Force Retired Military, Air Force Civilian Employees and active Air National Guard or Reserve youth.

Air Force Aviation Camp is provided jointly with the Air Force Academy and serves 36 high school sophomores or juniors who have expressed an interest in attending the Academy. 

Students participate in planned activities that include a T-37 simulator, aerodynamics labs, Aero Club flights, fitness challenges, orienteering and horseback riding.     

Youth Deployment Support Programs

Youth Deployment Support Programs usage continues to grow, and are of particular importance for reaching children of geographically separated Airmen.  Air Force partners with national agencies to serve Total Force Airmen and their families where they need care the most.

Military 4-H Grants program funds 4-H geared towards military children in states and territories that reach children of geographically separated Airmen in every county in the US and its territories, in addition to establishing 4-H clubs on military installations.  This initiative targets for youth of National Guard and Reserve members who are geographically dispersed.

Mission Youth Outreach is a partnership between Air Force Services and Boys & Girls Clubs of America that provides one-year free membership for youth to attend any local Boys & Girls Club in their community.  The program provides support to youth in families of Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard and Active Duty military personnel who may not live near a military installation and need a safe and positive place for youth to spend their out-of-school time. 

  • Expands positive out of school opportunities for military youth and teens not located near base.
  • Youth and teens have access to all BGCA opportunities and can participate in local and national events.




 TitleModified DateSizeClicks
Preschool activity websites10/18/200956.99 KB2433
Youth websites - The Artist10/18/200951.74 KB1652
Youth websites - The Writer/Reader10/18/200947.60 KB1602
Youth websites - What in the World?10/18/200961.21 KB2481
Youth websites - The World of Numbers10/18/200934.55 KB1335
Youth websites - How the World Works!10/18/200987.38 KB2407
Youth websites - The Hobbyist10/18/200946.63 KB0
Youth websites - Homework Helper10/18/200949.49 KB1360
Youth websites - Just For Fun!10/18/200949.13 KB1791
Teen websites - The Arts10/18/200948.85 KB1369
Teen websites - Computer/Internet Games10/18/200946.49 KB1405
Teen websites - Fun and Games10/18/200929.10 KB1435
Teen websites - Hobbies10/18/200946.63 KB0
Teen websites - Homework Help10/18/200949.36 KB1323
Teen websites - How Things Work10/18/200944.08 KB1600
Teen websites - Linguist10/18/200939.30 KB1503
Teen websites - Literature/Authoring10/18/200925.67 KB1260
Teen websites - Puzzlers10/18/200938.65 KB1364
Teen websites - The Past and Present10/18/200943.54 KB1293
Teen websites - Study Abroad10/18/200934.96 KB1316
Sport websites - General Information10/18/200936.77 KB1283
Sport websites - Commercial Media10/18/200928.65 KB1194
Sport websites - Basketball10/18/200933.56 KB1290
Sport websites - Baseball10/18/200924.99 KB1384
Sport websites - Football10/18/200924.87 KB1226
Sport websites - Soccer10/18/200934.48 KB1576
Sport websites - Volleyball10/18/200928.40 KB1229
Sport websites - Gymnastics10/18/200931.16 KB1223
Sport websites - Biking10/18/200935.55 KB1191
Sport websites - Skateboarding10/18/200938.45 KB1510
Sport websites - Fishing10/18/200936.01 KB1221
Sport websites - Bowling10/18/200933.35 KB1289
Sport websites - Other sports10/18/200939.82 KB1216

Additional Resources

Child Development Centers

Youth Centers

National Association for Resource and Referral

National Association for Resource and Referral

Military Child Care in Your Neighborhood and Operation Military Child Care (NACCRRA)

Military one source

National Association for the Education of Young Children

Military Home Front

Air Force Youth Programs

Air Force FitFactor

Military Child Education Coalition

Presidents Council on Physical Fitness

Boys and Girls Clubs of America

Military Youth on the Move


The Congressional Awards Program

National Alliance for Youth Sports

Operation Purple


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