As a service member, you have many affordable child care options. Deciding which one is the best for your family is the question.

Here are some of the common types of care available as well as referral services and other resources:

Child development centers

The child development center, or CDC, is a facility-based program that cares for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years of age. The centers typically operate Monday through Friday, during standard work hours year-round. The CDC programs offer full-day and part-time care. The cost is based on your total family income.

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Family child care homes

The family child care, or FCC, programs operate with certified child care professionals known as FCC providers, who provide care for infants and children up to age 12 in their homes, located on or off an installation. FCC providers typically offer a flexible schedule to support parents with a variety of care needs, including full-day, part-day care, school year care, summer camp, and in some cases, 24/7 and extended care.

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School-age care programs

The school-age care program is a facility-based program that cares for children ages 6 to 12 years old. The SAC programs provide school year care, which includes before and after school, scheduled school breaks and school year vacations. These programs also provide summer camp. The cost is based on total family income.

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Installation referral services

Some installations have a resource and referral office that can help you find child care providers on and off the installation. The office also can help find solutions and make arrangements if you’re overseas, where it’s common for hourly care to be offered. Language barriers can make finding off-installation care difficult. If your installation doesn’t have a Resource and Referral Office, the family programs office may provide similar support.

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Child Care Aware of America

Child Care Aware® of America is a national organization contracted to administer the Military Child Care in Your Neighborhood, or MCCYN, a Department of Defense fee assistance program available to qualifying families. This program pays a portion of child care costs on behalf of families who are unable to access installation child care.

To review eligibility requirements, please visit Child Care Aware of America.

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