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, part-day, hourly child care (availability permitting) and part-day preschool. The cost is based on your total family income.

Expanded Hourly Child Care Options

Through Military OneSource, parents can now access a nationally recognized caregiver database to search for hourly, flexible and on-demand child care.

Family child care homes

The family child care, or FCC, programs operate with certified child care professionals known as FCC providers. Providers offer 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 and school-year care, summer camp and, in some cases, 24/7 and extended care.

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, including before- and after-school care and coverage for parents during scheduled school breaks and school-year vacations. These programs also provide summer camp. The cost is based on total family income.

Youth and teen resources

Explore the wide range of Department of Defense-approved youth and teen resources which can help your child make friends, stay active and develop new skills.

  • Installation youth centers offer computer labs, special field trips, gymnasiums, music rooms, game rooms, sponsorship programs, and volunteer and employment opportunities. You can also request a youth sponsor for your child through your installation youth center. On the MilitaryINSTALLATIONS website, select Youth Programs/Centers from the drop-down menu.
  • Military Kids Connect is a website designed to celebrate military kids and help them cope with military life challenges like deployment and frequent moves. It offers engaging tools and games and a safe online place to communicate with other military kids. It also provides helpful resources for parents and teachers.
  • Mission: Youth Outreach links the military services with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America to help meet the needs of families who may not live near installation services.
  • 4-H Military Partnerships offers military youth the opportunity to join 4-H clubs in their community and participate in summer camps around the country.
  • Department of Defense summer camps may be a great addition to your child’s summer lineup. To find a camp or summer activity on your installation, visit MilitaryChildCare.com or contact your installation youth center.

Child Care Resources

  • MilitaryChildCare.com is a DOD website that helps families in any service branch find and request military-operated child care anywhere in the world. Search for full- and part-time care at child development or family child care programs, including before- and after-school care, as well as summer and holiday camps.
  • Military Child Care in Your Neighborhood, or MCCYN, is a DOD fee-assistance program available to qualifying families. This program offsets the cost of child care off the installation in community child care programs on behalf of families who are unable to access installation child care. Child Care Aware® of America is contracted to administer this program on behalf of the DOD. Learn more at Child Care Aware® of America.
  • Through Military OneSource, service members and families now have free access to a national database of more than a million caregivers so they can find hourly, flexible and on-demand child care. Learn more about eligibility and how to register for the expanded hourly child care options.

Military OneSource specialty consultations

Military OneSource specialty consultations enable parents to speak to specialists with various areas of expertise, including adoption, education, special needs and more. They include the New MilParent specialty consultation, designed for expectant parents and parents of children up to the age of 5 which provides support for a wide range of parenting issues.

If it takes a village to raise a child, you’re in luck as a service member. Your military community offers you a broad range of resources and services to help you be the best parent you can be. Contact Military OneSource today with any questions. Call 800-342-9647, use OCONUS dialing options or live chat with a parenting consultant.

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