Child and Youth Programs
Benefit Fact Sheet
Air Force Child Development and Youth Programs support Airmen in balancing 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.
The CYS is available to school age dependents, ages 6 to 18 years, of National Guard Airmen, regardless of deployment status (including traditional drilling Guardsmen), Survivors, and Active Component Soldiers and Airmen geographically-separated from installation-based program support. While Child care type services are not offered within the core program, resources for assistance are available.
The Child and Youth Services (CYS) is an integral component of the National Guard’s comprehensive approach to Family readiness. CYS offers outcome-based activities designed to foster positive youth development and support the unique strengths and challenges of National Guard children. This high quality, out-of-school time program exists in 54 locations throughout the United States, its Territories and the District of Columbia to mitigate risky behaviors, enhance resilience, develop positive coping strategies, and assist our National Guard youth in reaching their full potential as the next generation of leaders. For more information contact the Program Manager at 703-607-5909.
Mission : To promote and sustain the quality of life and resilience of NG children and youth by providing secure, timely, flexible, high-quality support services and enrichment programs.
Child care programs
The services and the Department of Defense also recognize the importance of providing families with access to quality, affordable Child care programs, because Child care is a work force issue that directly impacts the efficiency, readiness and retention of the total force. The services provide Child care through a portfolio of programs:
Child Development Center program (CDC) : Designed for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years.
School-Age Care program (SAC) : Provides care to children from kindergarten to 12 years of age before and after school and during holidays and summer vacations.
Family Child Care (FCC)/Child Development Home program : Provides care for children ages 4 weeks to 12 years of age in a home setting.
24-7 Child Care : Care is provided in a group home that operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, designed to meet the needs of shift workers and families seeking flexible Child care arrangements.
Community-Based Child Care program : Provides care for children ages 4 weeks to 12 years of age in state licensed and nationally accredited programs operating in community-based facilities and homes.
Youth programs :
Age-appropriate activities and support services are offered in four service delivery areas:
Art, Recreation & Leisure
Sports, Fitness & Health
Life Skills, Citizenship, Character Development & Leadership
Academic Support, Career Development, Mentoring & Intervention
Civil Air Patrol (CAP): The official auxiliary program of the U.S. Air Force. CAP is a year-round program for youth 12 years old to 18. The programs focus is on: leadership training, aerospace education, fitness education and character education. Cadets attend weekly squadron meetings, events one Saturday a month and a week-long camp every summer where they experience flight firsthand in CAP aircraft.
Core Program Elements:
Guard Teen Panel
National Youth Symposium
State Teen Panel (STP)
State Youth Symposium (SYS)
Youth Development Programming
State Opportunities & Military Youth Adventure Camps
Air Force Instructions 34-144: Child and Youth Programs
For more information, please visit the Central Programs Management System (CPMS):
For additional information on Child and youth programs, visit:
To request Child care, visit Military Child Care (MCC): https://public.militarychildcare.csd.disa.mil/mccu/ui/#/
For active duty military, including mobilized or deployed Reserve and Guard personnel, living in an area where no Child care is offered or is unavailable at an installation due to high demand, use:
Parents’ Guide to the Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program