Child and Youth Programs

Air National Guard: Drilling

Benefit Fact Sheet

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Air Force Child Development and Youth Programs support Airmen and Guardians 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 Department of the Air Force is committed to serving these Airmen, Guardians, 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 six to 18 years of National Guard Service members, regardless of deployment status (including traditional drilling Guardsmen), Survivors, and Active Component Service members geographically separated from installation-based program support. While child care type services are not offered within the core program, resources for assistance are available.

Benefit Highlights

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 703-607-3012.

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.

children playing on a basketball court with chalk Child Care programs

The Air Force and the Department of Defense recognize the importance of providing families with access to quality, affordable child care programs, child care is a work force issue that directly impacts the efficiency, readiness and retention of the total force. The Department of the Air Force provides child care through a portfolio of programs:

  • Child Development Center program (CDC): Designed for children ages six weeks to five 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 four 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 four weeks to 12 years of age in state licensed and nationally accredited programs operating in community-based facilities and homes.

  • Military Child Care in Your Neighborhood. If on-installation child care is unavailable, you may be eligible to receive fee assistance through MCCYN. To apply, visit Child Care Aware of America

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 to 18 years old. 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:


State Program:

Additional Information

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):

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

National Guard Family Programs

Document Review Date: 17 April 2024