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.
Air Force Child and Youth Programs provide developmental activities that promote the cognitive, social, emotional, cultural, language and physical development of children/youth through programs and services. All children/youth are recognized for their differences and are provided activities that encourage self-confidence, curiosity, creativity, self-discipline, and resiliency while providing content learning for literacy, mathematics, science, social studies, the arts and technology. Child Development Center (CDC) and School Aged (SA) programs are accredited by a National Association. These programs are managed at the installation level through by the Airmen and Family Service Center click here for your closest location.
Child Care Programs:
Child Care is offered through CDC, Family Child Care (FCC) homes, and SA programs.
Child Development Centers (CDC): Provide full-day, part-day, and hourly Child care services for children 6 weeks to 5 years of age.
Family Child Care (FCC): Provide full-day, part-day and hourly Child care services for children 2 weeks to 12 years of age in homes that are licensed on base or through affiliation off base. Provides an alternative to the CDC for Families that need evening and weekend care or care for children with special needs..
School Age Care (SAC): Provides programs for children 5 to 12 years of age jointly with the base youth center. SAC offers care before and after school, on school holidays and summer camps.
Additional Child Care Programs:
Give Parents a Break (GPAB): Once a month the CDC opens to provide free child care to eligible parents experiencing unique stresses due to deployments, remote tours of duty, or extended hours. Families are referred to the program and given a certificate to participate through the Airmen and Family Readiness Center.
Child Care for Permanent Change of Station (PCS) Provides up to 20 hours of Child care (per Child) at no cost in AF licensed/affiliated FCC homes at/near active duty locations. The FCC Coordinator is the POC. Air Force families with PCS orders are eligible for this service.
Youth Programs (YP): YPs offer experiences in five core program areas: Character and Leadership Development, the Arts, Fitness and Recreation, Health and Life Skills, Education and Career Development. Youth 5-18 years of age are eligible. YP partners with national youth serving agencies to provide a wide range of programs and services for youth and staff, including: Boys & Girls Clubs of America, USDA/4-H and the National Alliance for Youth Sports.
Sports and Fitness: Offers opportunities for sports, fitness, and motor skill development. Examples of programs offered are sports teams, dance, and martial arts classes but program offerings vary by installation.
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.
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