NAWS China Lake Community

NAWS China Lake
Child and Youth Programs

Child and Youth Programs


The Department of Defense (DoD) and the Military Services take great pride in the variety and quality of services provided to children and youth on installations worldwide. While the services provided depend on the size of the location, the standards and quality of services are consistent and meet established regulations. The network has hundreds of locations worldwide serving over 1.3 million children.

Child Development Centers (CDC)

These facilities generally offer child care for children ages six weeks to 5 years old. Care is typically available weekdays. CDCs vary in size; the average CDC cares for about 200 children. All programs must be certified by the DoD and accredited by a national accrediting body such as the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

The China Lake Child Development Center (CDC) has the distinction of being the first Nationally Accredited Center in the Department of Defense. The CDC offers programs that supplement the home by providing experiences to help the child in his/her total growth and development: intellectually, physically, socially and emotionally. While the program is developmental, the goal is to make the CDC atmosphere a home away from home.

Child Development Services has received DoD certification in October 2008. Child and Youth Programs provide Child Development and recreational services for children 6 weeks to 18 years of age. The Child Development Center, accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, provides full and part day care for children 6 weeks to Kindergarten. The School Age Center, accredited by the National Afterschool Association, provides before and after school care and Day Camp experiences for children Kindergarten thru Fifth grade. Castle X, the teen center, provides activities and special events for teen’s sixth grade to age 18.  The Child Development Home program provides care for children in homes by providers certified by the Navy CYP and Captain of the base. Each home can provide care for all ages. All programs are vendorized and provide care for children with special needs.


Eligible patrons include dependents of military, Department of Defense employees and NAWS contractors.

In order to enroll for the CDC or SAC programs, you may put in a waiting list in either building (bldg. 2688 for CDC and bldg. 880 for SAC) or you could go online to, then go to the Child and Youth Programs link on the left and then go to the link with the single child on the left.  Wait lists are downloaded daily.  Military have first priority placement, then DoD and then contractor.


Fees are set according to Total Family Income by DoD instruction.  Fees typically change annually. Fees are figured according to all family leave and earning statements.  If LES’s are not provided, the highest fee will be charged. Military and DoD families who elect to use CDH program will pay the same subsidized fees for children under 3 that they would pay at the CDC.

Hourly care is only available on space available basis, but is easier to accommodate in the CDH program. Hourly care for military that use CDH care for doctor appointments can be paid for by the CDH subsidy program, thereby costing nothing to the military.

Programs Offered


The Child Development Center provides full-time and part-time care for military and DOD family members from six weeks of age up through kindergarten.

The programs include breakfast, hot lunch, and two snacks. These are nutritionally balanced meals and are provided to children in full-time and part-time care. The children and staff take walking excursions and field trips on a regular basis.

Family Child Care (FCC)

With FCC, children receive their care in the private home of a certified provider living in government-owned or leased housing or in state-licensed homes in the community. Family child care provides accommodating child care arrangements, including night, weekend, and flexible hourly care for shift work.

In-home childcare programs offer comparable care to a CDC. Providers must be certified by the DoD, and some seek additional accreditation from the National Association of Family Child Care (NAFCC). Regulations limit the number of children that may be cared for at one time: no more than six children under age eight, and no more than two children under two years old.

The Child Development Homes Program offers child care in a home environment. The program includes approximately 10 homes with 60 available spaces (includes provider’s children). The goals of this Navy-wide program are as follows:

  • To increase the availability of quality, affordable childcare for military families.
  • To establish standards of child care for the protection and well being of children while away from their homes.
  • To encourage and assist Child Development Homes Providers to operate a quality, nurturing program for children.
  • To provide an opportunity for spouses of military and DOD personnel to operate a business in their homes within Navy guidelines.
  • To allow parents to perform their duties of work without undue concern about the care their children are receiving.

Each provider sets their own fees and hours within broad guidelines. For more information, contact our Family Child Care Director at 760-939-6683.

School Age Care (SAC)

DoD SAC programs are offered for children, kindergarten through 12 years of age before and/or after school, during holidays, and summer vacations. Emphasis is placed on SAC programs which meet community needs, reinforce family values, and promote the cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development of children. SAC may be provided in DoD Youth Centers, Child Development Centers or other suitable facilities. To expand school-age care program spaces, DoD policy encourages use of youth centers; on-and off-base schools, and other suitable facilities such as community centers. Accreditation of DoD SAC programs is a requirement. Accreditation sets the professional standards for after school programs and helps families identify high-quality programs.

School Age Program (SAP)

School Age Care offers a complete before and after school care program, as well as drop-in and hourly care. Transportation is provided to each school for an extra charge. The children get two snacks a day and participate in projects such as art, games, reading and field trips. Fees are determined by total family income and vary depending upon required services. Summer camps are offered when school is not in session.


Kinderooz (Kindergarten Program) offers complete before and after school care for children who are attending Kindergarten. The program focuses on helping children adjust to school life by offering a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere for children in their first year of school. The children get two snacks a day and participate in games, reading and field trips. Fees are determined by total family income. Transportation is provided to each school for an extra charge. The Morale, Welfare and Recreation Department’s Youth Center offers before and after school care for school aged children. For more information, call them at 760-939-2909.

Waiting List

Due to a high demand for care, you may be placed on a wait list. Your position on the wait list depends on many factors that are at the discretion of the installation and may include your spouse’s military status, the date you apply, deployment and your employment. If these factors change while you are on the wait list, your position will be changed accordingly, so it is important that you keep your information up-to-date.

Childcare is not an entitlement, and fees are income-based. Fees throughout the child development system of care fall into fee ranges set by DoD.

To apply for child care, fill out DD Form 2606, the Department of Defense Child Development Program Request for Care Record and return the paperwork to Parent Central Services at your installation.

The Department of Defense has a long history of providing positive youth programs that focus on alternative activities for youth during out-of-school hours. Today, DoD continues to be committed to youth by providing consistent guidance and stable and dynamic programs in more than 350 youth programs worldwide. DoD promotes positive youth development by designing programs to recognize the achievements of youth and by developing partnerships with other youth-serving organizations like the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and 4-H that offer a variety of resources. Programs for teens and pre-teens vary from one base to another, but are governed by a consistent DoD instruction. Programs prepare young people to meet the challenges of adolescence and adulthood through a coordinated, progressive series of activities and experiences that help them become socially, emotionally, physically and cognitively competent. Programs usually include physical fitness and sports, arts and recreation, training in leadership, life skills and career/volunteer opportunities, mentoring, intervention and support services.

Youth Services

The Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) Department at China Lake is an active, on going program that keeps the military children busy and involved. Be sure to check on all the activities for your children after arriving at China Lake.

Castle X offers the Leaders in Training Program. This program is offered during the summer months and allows children to work at the various MWR facilities and earn points towards free activities like bowling, swimming, etc.

On the station there are three great swimming pools, an inline hockey rink, a gymnasium, and a fitness center (16 years old and up), an auto hobby shop, racquetball courts, tennis courts, a jogging track, a bowling center, a golf course, a library, McDonald’s, a skate park, and plenty of other activities for your youth to enjoy.

Why Child & Youth Programs?

  1. Promotes positive relationships between children, teens, and adults.
  2. Implements a curriculum that fosters all areas of child development.
  3. Provides ongoing assessment of each individual child’s or teen’s needs.
  4. Employs qualified staff required to attend several trainings.
  5. Establishes positive, ongoing relationships with parents
  6. Provides a safe, nurturing, and healthy physical environment
  7. Implements quality customer service by following company policies and guidelines.
  8. Promotes nutrition and health for staff and children.
  9. Maintains a relationship with the community and utilizes resources.
  10. NAEYC Accredited CDC
  11. NAA Accredited SAC

About Child & Youth Programs

Child & Youth Programs encompasses the Child Development Center (six weeks through pre-school), School Age Care (Kindergarten through Fifth grade), Teen Center, and Child Development Homes (CDH).  The facilities are located on China Lake Base and are here to accommodate military families.  We also provide care to DOD and Contractors who need Child Care.

Each Program has highly trained employees that understand the different developmentalstages of children.  The program is designed to accommodate the needs of children depending on their age and personal development.  Staff is trained monthly and required to always have up-to-date CPR and First Aid training.

The CDC follows the Creative Curriculum which provides guidance to teachers as to how to set up their environment to fully engage a child and pull them into exploration and learning.


Our staff observes the children in attempt to understand where they are developmentally and help lead your child to the next steps in the learning process, by individualizing the curriculum.

School Age Care (SAC)

School Age Care accommodates Kindergarten through Fifth grade.  They make sure the children are dropped off and picked up from school safely.  The staff help’s to individualize the program by planning a monthly calendar of age-appropriate activities for each grade level in the center.  There is a Homework room for the children who come in from school to have a quiet place to do their work and receive help if they need it.  The staff evaluates children individually and helps one another to accommodate the appropriate action as to how to lead children in the right direction, or encourage them to continue the way they are.

Teen Center

The Teen Center is another MWR program and is open to children in the 7th through 12th grades. It is a great program that offers teens a place to spend time with their peers in a supervised area. The Teen Center has computers, pool tables, cable TV, video games, dances, and field trips, and can be rented for private parties. 

The Teen Center is a place for the teens to attend after they get out of school and want a place to go to hang out with their friends, do homework, play sports, etc. The staff implements activities for the teens, assist them with homework, and help lead them in the right direction by mentoring them.

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