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Child and Youth Programs

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Child Development Center

Children enjoy the inflatable slide at Freedom Fest July 3, 2018, on Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota.


1683 J Street (Bldg. 168) 
747-3042 DSN: (312) 362-3041

The Child Development Center (CDC) is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and provides care for children between the ages 6 weeks to 5 years old. 

The Center is open Monday-Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. for children needing either weekly or hourly care. Weekly care is offered to all active duty military and DoD civilians working on the base. Single parents and military members have priority. 

Weekly fees are based on the family total income. Hourly care is offered on a first come first served basis. Reservations may be made up to two weeks in advance. A request for care may be submitted using DD Form 2606. 

The Air Force Child Development Programs are based on current knowledge of child development and early childhood education. The Center staff is responsible for supporting the development of the whole child; meaning all areas of development are considered interrelated and equally important. Our program acknowledges that children learn through active, hands-on involvement with their environment, peers, and caring adults. 

We respect and respond appropriately to each child’s unique interest, experiences, abilities and needs. Children are valued individuals, as well as part of a group. Likewise, our program respects and supports the ideals, cultures, and values of families in their task of nurturing children. We advocate for children, families, and the early childhood professionals within our program. 

Care is provided for children with special needs; however, the Special Needs Board must review all documentation to ensure accommodation of the child’s need can be met. We are enrolled in the United States Department of Agriculture Food program serving nutritious daily meals. 

Teaching strategies and weekly plans, as well as appropriate daily developmental activities that follow the center’s philosophy and goals, are based on knowledge of child development and assessment of the children’s individual needs and interests. The children are also given individual attention and opportunities to express their creativity through art, music and dramatic play. Parent conferences are scheduled two times a year of as needed. 


A child must be registered in the Center before care is provided. The registration packet includes AF Form 1181, USDA Food Program application, Health Assessment Form, Immunization Record, and Parent’s Agreement. The Health Assessment Form should list any food or medication allergies and be signed by the child’s physician. Registration forms are available on the MWR website

Military families moving to Grand Forks AFB are encouraged to contact the Child Development Center upon receiving their PCS orders in order to register their children in the program. 

Caregiver/Child Ratio 
6 weeks - 12 months, 1:4 
13 months - 24 months, 1:5 
25 months - 36 months, 1:7 
3 - 5 years, 1:12 

Family Child Care

575 Holzapple St. (Bldg. 207) 
(Airman and Family Readiness Center) 

Family Child Care providers offer in-home care for children ages 2 weeks to 12 years as a supplement to the Child Development Center. These providers also offer alternative care such as weekend, flexible or extended hours and for very young infants or children with special needs. 

Providers are required to undergo strict licensing requirements. They must be over 18 years of age, able to read and speak English, and be in good mental and physical health. They (and their family members) must pass comprehensive background checks and complete a basic orientation program prior to licensing. Once licensed, monthly home visits are conducted to ensure that every provider is consistently maintaining all Air Force standards to ensure the highest quality of care possible. 

If you are interested in obtaining an FCC provider, you are encouraged to meet with the potential provider and conduct an interview to ensure there is a good match between you and the person who will be taking care of your child. Have questions ready about their policies such as discipline, vacation and illness. 

It is important for you to know that Family Child Care providers set their own fees. Prior to starting care in the home, families must sign a contract regarding policies and fees, provide a copy of immunization records of child/children, complete AF Form 1181 and--if dual or single military--AF Form 357. 

If you are moving to Grand Forks AFB on PCS orders, you are eligible to receive up to 20 hours of free child care from a licensed Family Child Care Provider. Bring your orders to the Airman and Family Readiness Center where you will be issued a certificate for PCS care. 

Feel secure knowing that you are placing your children in safe and supportive care when they enter a Family Child Care home. They will be in a stimulating in-home environment that will provide them with the nurturing and developmental materials and interactions they need to thrive. Please call 747-3158 at the Family Child Care office for additional assistance in selecting a Family Child Care Home. 

The Family Child Care Office is located in the Airman and Family Readiness Center and is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Tuesdays and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

Becoming a Family Child Care Provider
Spouses of active duty or retired military members, living either on or off base, are eligible to become licensed Family Child Care providers. Base residents providing child care in their homes for more than 10 hours a week on a regular basis must be licensed. 

Find out how you can become a child care professional and operate your own business from the comfort and convenience of your home. Plus you will receive training that will allow you to care for our next generation. 

At minimal start-up costs, the FCC Program offers free equipment and training to help you support the Air Force mission of caring for children of military and civilian personnel. 

The licensing process involves 24 hours of orientation which includes CPR, First Aid, Child Development, Curriculum Planning, Health and Safety, Food Handlers certification and setting up the business. Background and reference checks are mandatory. All homes will be inspected by Public Health, Safety and Fire as well as the FCC Coordinator before a license is issued. Health records on all family members are maintained. Liability insurance is required. 

The FCC Resource Center supplies the providers with most of their needed materials and equipment. The Mission Support Group commander signs the license and it is good for one year. Each provider can take care of up to six children with no more than two under the age of 2. Monthly inspections of each home are conducted by the FCC Coordinator. All providers are required to complete 15 FCC modules within the first 18 months of licensing. 

FCC providers are self-employed and not government employees. They set their own rates, hours and write their own policies and contracts. The policies must meet AF guidelines. The providers do bi-monthly self-assessments which are monitored by the FCC Coordinator. 

The FCC office is currently recruiting providers for special needs, evening/weekend and drop-in care For more information on the licensing process call: 747-3158. 

School Age Program

1707 J. Street (Bldg. 121) 

The School Age Program provides for the care of children in Kindergarten to eighth grade, both before school and after school, during full days and during the summer. Buses from both on-base schools pick the children up and return them to the program which is conducted at the Youth Center. 

Before and after school programs are conducted Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 8:20 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Summer day camp hours are Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.. 

This service is available to children of both active duty and retired military members as well as DoD civilians. Fees are based on household income. There is also a Summer Day Care program called Summer Adventure and Play! This program offers a wide variety of summertime activities which include weekly field trips, swimming, bowling and roller skating. 

Weekly schedules are posted to inform both parents and children of upcoming events. Children are provided with the opportunity to engage in many types of age appropriate activities and are encouraged to participate and grow. 

Youth Center

1707 J Street (Bldg. 121) 
747-3150 or 747-3151

The Youth Center provides a wide variety of sports, leisure, educational and social programs for military and DoD children, ages 5-18. The center includes a gymnasium, preteen game room (with pool tables, foosball, video games and air hockey), a teen room, a TV lounge area, computer center, outside playground and basketball court, a Youth Sports Complex and an Ice Rink/Warming House. 

Parents are encouraged to visit the Youth Center to see the many activities we offer. Our main objective is to provide opportunities for youth to develop their physical, social, emotional and cognitive abilities and to experience achievement, leadership, enjoyment, friendship and recognition in a daily and year round program atmosphere. 

The Youth Center offers a unique program called “Sponsor Pen Pals”. Youths 7-18 whom are coming to Grand Forks AFB are “sponsored” by youth from our base, helping make their move/transition easier by sending them a welcome letter and a sponsor kit. Military members moving the Grand Forks are encouraged to contact the Youth Center at 747-3150 with the names of their children so they can receive a personalized letter from one of our student members. 

The Youth Center features age-appropriate classes, special events, and sporting programs throughout the year. There is something for everyone. 

Activities offered throughout the year include programs such as gymnastics, cheer leading, dancing, archery, field trips, talent shows, fitness days, and more. On-going programs include roller skating, movie nights, Wii game tournaments, and Boys & Girls Club activities. Sporting activities include floor hockey, baseball and softball, T-ball, basketball, soccer and tennis. An Open Recreation Program is offered for children 9-18. Children enrolled in this program are eligible to participate in activities in the Open Recreation Room, the gymnasium, and the computer room. It also enables youth to participate in 4-H Club, and Boys & Girls Clubs of America programming. 

Several specialized programs are also available for youth Center members: 
• Torch Club is a chartered small group leadership and service club for boys and girls ages 11 to 13. Torch Club members learn to elect officers and work together to plan and implement activities in four areas: Service to the Club and Community, Education, Health & Fitness and Social Recreation. 
• TeensSupreme/Keystone Club is a chartered club for teens ages 14-18. Members elect their own officers and the club is designed to help teen members become more productive citizens and leaders. The club focuses on 6 program areas: Service to Club & Community, Leadership Development, Education and Career Exploration, Unity, Free Enterprise, and Social Recreation. 

The Youth Center also has a Youth of the Quarter and a Youth of the Year Program for youth ages 14-18. Those selected for Youth of the Quarter will compete for the Base Youth of the Year honors. The winner of the Base Youth of the Year will compete at the North Dakota State Youth of the Year Competition. 

Also, check out the YES (Youth Employment Skills) Program at the Youth Center for eligible high school students. This program allows members to “bank” volunteer dollar credits toward their post-secondary education/training at a rate of $4 per hour volunteered on base. Students may accumulate up to 250 hours, for a potential $1000. 

The Youth Center is accredited by the National After School Association and is certified by the Department of Defense to operate the School Age Care Program and Youth Programs.


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