Year of the CYP Hero campaign celebrates child, youth program professionals

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. William A. O’Brien
  • Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

The "Year of the CYP Hero" campaign is a dedicated initiative aimed at recognizing the invaluable contributions of Child and Youth Programs and CYP professionals throughout the remainder of the 2024 calendar year.

CYP professionals include more than 10,000 employees, contractors, volunteers and family child care providers serving more than 40,000 children, youth and families in Department of the Air Force Child Development Centers, School Age Care, Family Child Care, Youth and Teen and School Liaison programs.

"CYP professionals are the backbone of our military family support system," said Lt. Gen. Caroline Miller, Manpower, Personnel and Services deputy chief of staff. "Their commitment allows our Airmen and Guardians to focus on the mission secure in the knowledge that their loved ones are in capable hands. Through this campaign, we honor their exceptional service and provide avenues for recognition, knowing that their tireless efforts are essential to our mission success."

CYP professionals are critical to mission readiness, as they care for the dependents of service members while they accomplish the mission.

"Our CYP heroes are critical to supporting the Space Force mission," said Deputy Chief of Space Operations for Human Capital Katharine Kelley. "Our Guardians are on combat crews covering 24/7 operations in an  employed-in-place model; they can do that with focus because of the incredible professionals who help care for their family members.”

Throughout the year, accolades will be presented to celebrate exceptional CYP professionals. Recognition efforts include Inspector Accolades, Monthly and Quarterly Heroes recognition, Parent’s Choice Awards, and professional development opportunities. Additionally, the monthly hero with the most "likes" on Facebook will be recognized as the DAF CYP Hero of the Quarter. These programs aim to boost morale, celebrate excellence and inspire continued dedication from our CYP professionals.

To support CYP professionals and military families, the DAF has recently implemented initiatives to enhance the CYP experience for the professionals and the families they serve.

Employee Benefits
In 2022, the DAF implemented financial incentives to attract and retain top CYP talent. This includes a 100% childcare fee discount for the first child enrolled in Child Development Programs and a 25% discount for each additional child.

Making CYP More Affordable
Understanding the financial realities of many families, the DoD reduced childcare fees in 2023 to ease the burden on lower-income families.

Building for the Future
The fiscal year 2025 budget proposal requests $40 million for the construction of a new Child Development Center at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, further expanding vital CYP services for Air Force families.

For additional information on the campaign, or how to submit members for recognition, click here.