Child Development Centers (CDCs)

Regular Air Force: Retired

Benefit Fact Sheet

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Air Force Child Development Centers are situated on Air Force installations worldwide. The centers offer full-day, part-day and hourly care for children in safe, healthy and nurturing environments where children (Ages 6 weeks - 5 years) can develop motor, cognitive, social and emotional skills through a balance of exploration and planned curriculum. Learning activities are designed to support the natural development of children and include individual, small group and large group experiences.


Children of retired Service members are eligible for Child Development Centers on a space available basis in accordance with DoDI6060.02.

Benefit Highlights

children playing on a basketball court with chalk Costs are typically based on total family income. In general, the cost of military childcare is lower than equivalent civilian care because the military subsidizes the program. The subsidies go directly to the program and usually pay about half the cost of care and the service member pays the other half. Subsidies vary by military branch and by facility. If there is not space available in one of the child development programs, the service member will be offered a place on a waiting list.

Types of Care Include:

  • Full Day/Weekly Child Care: Services offered to children ages 6 weeks - 5 years old on a regularly scheduled, daily basis (no more than 10 hours of care each day)

  • Part-Day Enrichment (PDE) Program: Provides parents who do not need full-time child care the opportunity for care

  • Hourly Care: May be offered to support short-term needs on the installation

  • Give Parents a Break (GPAB): The Give Parents a Break Program provides childcare for eligible parents who are subject to unique stresses due to the nature of military life. Partnering with the Air Force Aid Society (AFAS) who pays the cost of childcare, CDC’s open once a month in the evening or on weekends for families referred to the program by base agencies.

Benefits of choosing an Air Force Child Development Center also include:

  • Employees who pass stringent background checks and inspections

  • Highly trained staff

  • Regular visits and inspections

  • Programs designed to help prepare your child for school

For information contact the Child Development Center at your Base.

How to Request Care:

To request care, complete a Request for Care at This site allows families to search for and request care from a wide range of military-operated and military-subsidized child care options across all services to include Child Development Centers, School Age Care Programs and Family Child Care Homes. Families can expect standardized procedures for effective waiting list management, placement of children and youth into available programs, and enhanced daily operations for programs.

Additional Information

Department of the Air Force Child and Youth Programs:

DoD military-operated and military subsidized child care options:

Child Care Programs funded by AFAS:

Department of Defense Instruction 6060.02:

In addition, location of Child Development Centers on Air Force installations may be located on the Resource Locator Library on MyAirForceBenefits:

Document Review Date: 07 May 2024