For Children and Youth – Resources

As a service member, your military family has many resources available to support education. This list of resources for children and youth can connect your family to opportunities that can prepare your kids for success – both in their education and beyond.

Department of Defense Educational Activity, or DoDEA

  • DoDEA is responsible for planning, directing, coordinating and managing pre-kindergarten through 12th grade educational programs on behalf of the Department of Defense, ensuring that all school-aged children of military families receive quality education.
  • About 75,000 military children are enrolled in 172 DoDEA schools around the world.
  • The DoDEA website is full of resources, such as their Parent Guides with information on what to expect in grade school and high school.

Installation youth center services

Eligible service members and family members may all take advantage of an installation's youth center services. Each youth center varies, but most offer:

  • Computer labs for games, homework, social media and more
  • Special field trips to the movies, bowling or local attractions
  • Gymnasiums for safety-supervised sports with other children their age
  • Fitness rooms for working out and working off stress
  • Music rooms for recording music
  • Game rooms for playing pool or board games with friends
  • Volunteer and employment listings of that perfect after-school job or volunteer position

Child development programs

  • Head Start: This national family-centered child development program in the U.S. that promotes school readiness for children 5 years or younger. Search for nearby Head Start programs and eligibility guidelines.
  • Early Head Start: This program is for children from birth to 3 years old.
  • Sure Start for preschoolers: Military family living overseas may qualify for Sure Start. This Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) program is for command-sponsored families with preschoolers (4 years old) at overseas installations.

Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA)

Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the U.S. Armed Forces partner to help support children of military families with youth development programs, curriculums and activities. Education and career programs offered by the Boys & Girls Clubs range from youth centers through Mission Youth Outreach to money management and summer reading programs.

4-H Military Partnerships

  • 4-H Military Partnerships bring the resources of the Land Grant Universities including youth development professionals, research-based curricula, and high quality training and technical assistance to the youth programs of the military.
  • Military youth can join 4-H clubs in their community, and they can also participate in summer camps around the country.

Operation Purple® Camp

  • Operation Purple Camp from the National Military Family Association brings together military kids from all services, and offers a Family Retreat that provides military families with a chance to reconnect and bond.

Morale, Welfare and Recreation Digital Library

Take advantage of the many databases and resources available as part of the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Digital Library. A free service for military members and their families, it has something to offer children at every age. Just log into your Military OneSource account or create a username and password to get started.

For children

  • Explora Primary: a database of colorful and fun resources that help children in grades K – 5 learn about animals, music, health, history, people and places, science, math and sports.
  • Explora Secondary: an online library of magazine and newspaper articles, videos, images and reference information about arts, music, geography, health, math and more for children grades 6 – 12.
  • for military children: online tutoring and homework help from expert tutors in more than 16 subjects.

Morale, Welfare and Recreation Summer Reading Program

  • Students who keep reading in the summer score higher on achievement tests than non-readers. Inspire literacy and lifelong learning by enrolling your kids in the Department of Defense-MWR Summer Reading Program. Contact the program at 877-565-1896.

Military OneSource Education Consultations

Military OneSource provides education consultations that can answer your questions and offer referrals to services that meet your needs. Consultants can assist you with a variety of questions about your child's education concerning financial aid, scholarships, tutoring, college information and more. They can also provide:

  • Contact information for military-friendly schools and institutions
  • Referrals to in-home tutors and tutoring centers in your area
  • Public and private school information
  • College profiles based on desired degree and specific request

Call Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 or click here for overseas calling options to schedule a free and confidential consultation. Appointments are available seven days a week for your family's convenience.