The Department of Defense is the nation’s largest employer-sponsored child care system and one of the largest youth development programs in the country. Through the Department of Defense’s career opportunities initiative, Come Grow With Us, you can apply for both entry and management-level positions in many child development programs and youth programs world-wide.
Department of Defense child and youth development careers
Watch this video of the career opportunities available within military child development and youth programs.
Streaming YouTube is currently blocked from DOD networks. To visit the video directly, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbH4k6dvOX4.
As a Department of Defense child development and youth program employee, you’ll enjoy competitive pay and benefits, including:
- Health and life insurance
- Paid leave
- Retirement and 401K benefits
- Tuition assistance
- Training, mentoring and professional development
- Career advancement opportunities
Plus, many of the Department of Defense’s 850+ high-quality child development and youth programs are located on or near military installations worldwide. And, for military spouses seeking employment, spousal preference is offered as well.
If you are interested in a career that offers flexibility and advancement, while providing a vital service to our military families around the world, this employment opportunity is for you.
Some available jobs that may be open in your area include:
- Child development directors and assistant directors
- Training and curriculum specialists
- Before and after school directors
- Youth program directors
- Direct care staff
Both entry and career-level positions with Department of Defense programs can be found at:
- The Army Child & Youth Services Careers
- The Marine Corps Community Services
- The Navy Child & Youth Programs
- USAJOBS by searching for “Department of Defense Child and Youth” jobs in your area. You can also search by entering the name of your service branch and “Child and Youth,” for example “Air Force Child and Youth.”
Ask an Installation Employment Readiness Specialist
Both military spouses and recent college grads from military families can talk to their installation’s employment readiness specialist.
Skills you need to succeed as a child and youth development staff member
If you’re considering a career field in early care and education or youth development, ask yourself these questions to see if you’d fit the qualifications for many entry and management-level positions.
- Do you have experience with children? Previous experience working with children and youth may give you an advantage when seeking employment. Don’t just count formal student teaching or training, though – an employment history of babysitting or camp counseling will look great to potential employers.
- Do you have formal early childhood education or youth development training or certifications? Most employers request candidates have at least a GED/high school diploma. Having an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in child development, education, psychology, social work, youth development, or physical education can set your application apart from others. Child care-related certifications like the Child Development Associate, or CDA, or the Child Care Professional, or CCP, credentials may also increase your employability, as do basic first aid and CPR certifications.
- Are you looking for a rewarding, meaningful career? Few careers offer the chance to directly support military children and youth, offering them the foundation they need to succeed as adults. If you enjoy a challenge and are passionate about working with children and youth, this job opportunity is for you.