Month of the Military Child 2023 – Taking Care of Our Military Children

The Defense Department is observing April as Month of the Military Child and will highlight programs, resources, and services available to support the overall well-being of military children, youth and teens. “Taking Care of Our Military Children” is the theme of this year’s Month of the Military Child campaign, an opportunity to focus on the lives of military children, youth and teens.

Military families move every two to three years on average, and military children change schools an average of six to nine times from the start of kindergarten to their high school graduation. This year an estimated 30 percent of military service members will move to a new installation.

The Defense Department is committed to recognizing the unique challenges of military-connected children, youth and teens and ensuring that families are aware of the full breadth of support and resources that are at the ready to serve their needs as they change schools, settle into new communities, and navigate military life in general. Within the Defense Department, there are a number of programs and resources to support military parents and their children. These include many affordable, quality and licensed childcare options on and off installation.

Military Children by the Numbers

  • According to a report by the Department of Defense there are 700 military child development program facilities around the world, running approximately 155,000 child-care spaces, with another 3,000 Family Child Care homes.
  • It’s estimated that military child development centers welcome around 200,000 children daily. There are 300 youth and teen centers worldwide serving more than 645,000 youth through a variety of educational and recreational programs.
  • Approximately 2 million military children have experienced a parental deployment since 9/11.
  • There are currently 1.2 million military children of active-duty members worldwide.
  • Nearly 80% of military children attend public schools throughout the United States.
  • The average military family moves three times more often than their civilian counterpart.
  • There are nearly two million “total-force dependent children” including more than 900,000 Army dependents, 400,000 Air Force dependents, nearly 300,000 Navy and approximately 118,000 Marine dependents.

DOD works with a variety of stakeholders to build a support network that provides the best possible education experience for military-connected children and youth worldwide. This includes school liaisons who can help students realize their education goals and interstate compacts that make changing schools easier for children. DOD also works with a number of talented organizations, such as 4-HBoys and Girls Club of America and Sesame Workshop to offer military parents and children resources and strategies for personal growth, mental health and self-care.

Highlights for the Month of the Military Child 2023 include Military OneSource giveaways as well as the promotion of Child and Youth programs, podcasts, tools and resources available to military children, youth and teens. Throughout the month of April, DOD invites the nation to Purple Up—wear purple and share their pictures on social media to show their support for military children, youth and teens.

Parents can find more information about the Month of the Military Child 2023 events and ongoing resources for children, youth and teens by visiting


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