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DoD School-Age and Youth Program Info Paper


Department of Defense (DoD) School-Age Care (SAC) programs are offered for children, kindergarten to twelve years of age, before and/or after school, during holidays, and summer vacations. Emphasis is placed on SAC programs that meet community needs, reinforce family values, and promote the cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development of children. SAC may be provided in DoD Youth Centers, Child Development Centers, or other suitable facilities on-and off-base schools, such as community centers.  Accreditation of DoD SAC programs is a requirement. Accreditation sets the professional standards for after school programs and helps families identify high-quality programs.

Program Highlights

Today, DoD continues to be committed to youth by providing consistent guidance and stable and dynamic programs in more than 350 youth programs worldwide.

  • Partnerships: DoD promotes positive youth development by designing programs to recognize the achievements of youth and developing partnerships with other youth-serving organizations, like the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and 4-H, that offer a variety of resources.
  • Whole-child programming: Programs for teens and pre-teens vary from one base to another but are governed by a consistent DoD instruction. Programs prepare young people to meet the challenges of adolescence and adulthood through a coordinated, progressive series of activities and experiences that help them become socially, emotionally, physically, and cognitively competent. Programs usually include physical fitness and sports, arts and recreation, training in leadership, life skills and career/volunteer opportunities, mentoring, intervention and support services.
  • Military Youth on the Move (MYOM) is the only DoD website created specifically for children and teens. The site provides advice and helpful information for youth who are coping with issues that arise during a move and in military life in general. MYOM provides a positive support system that helps even more military children and teens by providing a wealth of relocation information, homework help, financial literacy information, scholarship information, and resources dealing with deployment and other outreach support. For more information, visit MYOM at

Additional Information


Counselor speaking to teen girl Growing up with deployments and relocations can make military children more resilient – or more withdrawn. Read the article, “Children and Youth Behavioral Military and Family Life Counselors” to learn how counselors can help children thrive through life’s challenges.

Mother and child talking to a teacher in classroom Changing schools can be challenging, but planning ahead makes a big difference. Find out what you can do before, during and after your move to make sure your child’s needs are met.




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