Learn about opportunities and support Family Programs provides for National Guard kids of all ages. The military services offer a wide variety of quality children and youth programs in structured developmental settings on and off the military installation to provide for safe, age-appropriate activities.
Programs for youth include:
- Instructional programs. Instructional programs provide opportunities to develop new skills and learn in hands-on, informal settings. Programs cover a wide range of topics including photography, woodworking, science and technology, gardening, health and safety.
- Recreation sports programs. These programs are typically offered through the installation youth center. A year-round program of team sports provides numerous opportunities for youth to challenge themselves physically while developing life skills, such as good sportsmanship and the value of teamwork.
- Recreation programs. Recreation programs are geared toward individual interests and skills such as golf and tennis. These programs may be offered through a variety of Morale, Welfare and Recreation and services facilities, such as the golf course, bowling center and youth centers.
- Educational and youth development programs. These programs are focused on citizenship, character building, public speaking and leadership.
Child care programs
The services and the Department of Defense also recognize the importance of providing families with access to quality, affordable child care programs, because child care is a workforce issue that directly impacts the efficiency, readiness and retention of the total force. The services provide child care through a portfolio of programs:
- Child development center program. This program is designed for children ages six weeks to 5 years offering full-time and part-time care.
- School-age care program. The SAC program provides care to children from kindergarten to 12 years of age before and after school and during holidays and summer vacations.
- Family child care/child development home program. This program provides care for children ages 4 weeks to 12 years of age in a home-based environment.
- 24-7 child care. This program meets the needs of eligible parents who require child care services for their infants through school age children during non-traditional hours on a regular basis. This care type is designed to support watch standers or shift workers who work non-traditional, and/or rotating schedules (i.e., weekends, overnights, and evenings) and is often used in lieu of other types of care. Proof of work schedule is required to qualify for this care type. 24/7 Care is available in 24/7 Centers or from FCC providers.
- Community child care program. This program provides care for children ages 4 weeks to 12 years of age in state-licensed and nationally accredited programs operating in community child care facilities and homes.
- Military Child Care in Your Neighborhood. If on-installation child care is unavailable, you may be eligible to receive fee assistance through Military Child Care in Your Neighborhood, or MCCYN. To apply, visit Child Care Aware of America.
The Office of the Secretary of Defense, Office of Children, Families, and Youth provides policy and budget support, conducts annual aggregate operations.