This resource was created with installation leaders in mind to share creative solutions for Childcare, Education, Healthcare, Housing, and Spouse Employment at the local level. Here you will find best practices implemented at military installations through community partnerships, often using unique funding through agreements with local community leaders. The purpose of this page is to share creative community partnership solutions that can be replicated at other installations where appropriate.


Department of the Air Force Community Partnership Program (AFCP)

Since January 2013, the Air Force Community Partnership (AFCP) Program has provided a framework through which installation and community leaders can leverage their unique capabilities to enhance mission performance, reduce costs, and improve quality of life. Although typically these partnerships support mission readiness, there are examples where unique partnerships have supported family readiness, particularly in the Five & Thrive categories. Find out here how Goodfellow AFB has been recognized for their outstanding AFCP. Learn how your installation can identify requirements and formulate a course of action.

Army Community Partnership Program

Army partnerships are a vital tool for accomplishing key Army goals. Partnerships encourage innovation and collaboration between partners, which drives modernization throughout the Army. Additionally, partnerships identify cost efficiencies, reduce installation service response times, and improve communications, which contribute to Army readiness, modernization, and reform. The benefits of these partnerships are widespread as the Army looks to leverage partnerships with communities. “Shared problems equal shared solutions” is not just a catchphrase but an active initiative that the Army seeks to capitalize on. Fostering these partnerships will become increasingly vital as the Army and communities work to mitigate budget and resource shortfalls. Learn more about the Army Community Partnership Program.

Defense Community Infrastructure Program (DCIP)

The Defense Community Infrastructure Program (DCIP) is designed to enhance military value, installation resilience, and military family quality of life. The DCIP authorizes the Secretary of Defense to make grants, conclude cooperative agreements, and supplement funds available under other Federal programs in support of the program (Title 10 §2391(d) Defense Community Infrastructure Pilot Program). 

The 2020 grants assisted military families in three of the Five & Thrive categories (Childcare, Education, and Healthcare) at multiple locations. 

See the 2020 and 2021 Grant Awardees
Apply for DCIP Grants

Defense Community Infrastructure Program Given Major Boost to $90 million in Budget for FY22. Download the DCIP Fact Sheet



Childcare Subsidies 

Learn here how one Army installation partnered with their local community to provide childcare subsidies to military families in California's Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.  

Joint Base Lewis-McChord Partnership Tackles Childcare 

Working with a diverse group of DoD, community, and industry partners, the South Sound Military and Communities Partnership helped lead an initiative to tackle one of the biggest challenges facing military families today: childcare. Click here to learn more about this innovative military childcare strategy. Click here for more information on the My Child Care In Your Neighborhood - Plus program, designed to increase availability of affordable, quality childcare for military families.

Partnerships Lead to a Creative Solution in Childcare 

State 4-H Military Liaisons lead Idaho Outreach to Military Kids (OMK) State Teams in partnerships with the National Guard, Army Reserve, the Military Child Education Coalition, Boys and Girls Club of America, the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies and the American Legion. OMK's goal is to build community capacity to create local support networks, raise community awareness and implement educational programs for Idaho military youth. As a creative solution to childcare challenges for Idaho Reserve and Air National Guard families, the program hosts monthly youth camps on weekends when military parents must be at Gowen Field for drills. Click here to learn more about this creative solution to childcare.

Supporting Military Parents Pursuing Higher Education

Learn how one community's United Way is offering childcare scholarships to cover the majority of costs for quality childcare for military spouses seeking a degree or job training.  By providing access to affordable childcare, parents can further their education and provide a stronger foundation for their family.  These scholarships are available for childcare centers on and off-base. Learn more about this childcare solution for job training and degree seeking spouses.


Partners in PROMISE MIC3 Advocacy Toolkit

Learn how to advocate for a seat on your state's MIC3 Council here

Power of partnerships: Holloman and Goodfellow Schools See Results

Learn here from School Liaisons at Goodfellow and Holloman about how they helped secure education initiatives for military children and the partnerships that made it all possible. If you would like to contact these School Liaisons and learn more about their successful partnerships, please reach out to the Department of the Air Force School Liaison Program Manager at to be connected.

Military Family Open Enrollment in Public Schools

Learn here about Colorado Legislation that allows military families to register electronically based on orders and use the base School Liaison Office’s address if necessary.  If you would like to contact the military spouse who made this happen and learn how to do so in your state, please reach out to the Thrive Team at and we will connect you.  

For more information on this initiative, as well as other case studies in community partnerships and education, please visit the A+ Toolkit Case Studies page here

Malmstrom AFB partners with Great Falls Public Schools

Learn here how Malmstrom AFB partnered with their local community to create a pilot Pre-K Program, CDC Intern Program, an Educator's Summit, and more.  Click here for additional information on their seven proposals for partnerships.

Investing in the Military, Education, and the Future of Cybersecurity

Learn here how one community has partnered with the military to develop future leaders in cybersecurity in K-12 Education through a partnership with Jacksonville High School and Little Rock AFB, AK.  You can also learn more about this initiative by emailing


DoD STARBASE is a premier educational program, sponsored by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs. At DoD STARBASE students participate in challenging “hands-on, minds-on” activities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). They interact with military personnel to explore careers and observe STEM applications in the “real world.” The program provides students with 25 hours of stimulating experiences at National Guard, Marine, Air Force Reserve, Army, and Air Force bases across the nation.  Click here for further information on the STARBASE youth outreach program and learn here how you too can have a STARBASE at your location.

Fort Meade's Education and Resiliency Center

Fort Meade's Education and Resiliency Center focuses on education and the five pillars of resiliency: physical, emotional, social, family and spiritual. The services will range from guidance counseling and transition efforts to mental health counseling, wellness programs and financial planning. A premier benefit of this space will be new programming for educational programs needed for successful career placement and continuing education, and expansion of existing programs to broader audiences, including spouses.  Click here to learn more about this multi-million dollar community partnership project that will make a difference for the entire military community. 

Maxwell-River Region Partnership for Educational Excellence

The Maxwell-River Region Partnership for Educational Excellence is a group of individuals made up of Air University faculty, school district superintendents and faculty, state/local government officials, and many other organizations. These entities came together to tackle issues related to K-12 education in the River Region and to ensure that the needs of military personnel in the area were addressed. Check out this video to learn more about this partnership.

Play to Learn at JBLM

Learn more here about a partnership with Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) Command that created the first children’s museum on a U.S. military installation in the world.  This new location will continue to build upon relationships established through Pierce County, Tacoma's Play to Learn programming on JBLM, and is designed to serve children and their families, with an emphasis on early learners, those experiencing special needs, and reintegration of our military into family life.  This project is supported by the JBLM Command, as well as a $4.8 million effort by supporters of the Children’s Museum of Tacoma as part of the $10 million More than a Museum Campaign.


Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) of Alaska

The ASYMCA of Alaska coordinates with local installation leadership to ensure a network of support for currently serving military families stationed in Alaska. This collaboration identifies and addresses gaps in services that pose a hardship to service members and their families—hardships that can negatively affect mission readiness.  This initiative is not funded by the DoD but instead through partnerships with the local community. One effort of support is through the ASYMCA Children's Waiting Room (CWR) which provides a safe, nurturing environment for children while their parents attend medical appointments at the JBER Hospital, the Bassett Army Community Hospital on Ft. Wainwright, or the Baker Field House on Eielson AFB. For more information on this awesome community partnership, visit here.  

Seymour Johnson Air Force Base partners with the City of Goldsboro

Physical fitness can have immediate long-term health benefits while also improving quality of life. Learn here how Seymour Johnson Air Force Base partnered with the City of Goldsboro to create a multi-sports complex and add a 2500 square foot addition to the Seymour Johnson Fitness Center.

Fort Meade's Education and Resiliency Center

Fort Meade's Education and Resiliency Center focuses on education and the five pillars of resiliency: physical, emotional, social, family and spiritual. The services will range from guidance counseling and transition efforts to mental health counseling, wellness programs and financial planning. A premier benefit of this space will be new programming for educational programs needed for successful career placement and continuing education, and expansion of existing programs to broader audiences, including spouses.  Click here to learn more about this multi-million dollar community partnership project that will make a difference for the entire military community. 

Partnership for Mental Healthcare

Learn more here about the El Paso Approach to providing community-resourced mental healthcare to military families through a partnership with the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Endeavors.


Altus AFB Community Partnership Resolves Base Housing Gaps

Learn how Altus AFB partnered with their local community to provide quality and affordable housing to military families assigned to Altus AFB in Oklahoma. 

Cannon AFB Community Solutions

Five & Thrive in action! Check out how one community is tackling the top five quality-of-life challenges by creating subcommittees for each of the five focus areas. As a part of Five and Thrive’s Safe and Affordable Housing subcommittee, this team identified an innovative solution to provide housing for incoming single airmen. A 200-room complex is currently being constructed and is the first of its kind in the Air Force, exclusively housing single airmen with furnished dorms and updated appliances. Airmen residents will have their own private living space and bathroom, and share a kitchen and living room with one other resident. The public-private lease will provide 200 additional beds for Cannon AFB airmen when the project is complete. You can learn more about this initiative here. 

Navy Housing Rental Partnership Program

The Rental Partnership Program (RPP) is an agreement between the Housing Service Center (HSC) and community housing landlords and is designed to provide Service Members with suitable and affordable off-base housing and aid In defraying some of the costs incurred by relocation. Housing units which are offered In the RPP are evaluated, inspected and qualified to meet the highest standards by the Navy HSC. The RPP available to both families and unaccompanied Service Members.


Hire Oki Spouses Project 

The team behind the Hire Oki Spouses Project began their project with the core belief that military and DoD civilian spouses are the experts in their experience. Impacted spouses need a platform to not only voice their challenges but also present location-specific solutions. The Hire Oki Spouses Project seeks to explore employment barriers for military and DoD civilian/contractor spouse healthcare workers who are living in Okinawa. Hiring spouse healthcare workers in Okinawa is expected to have a positive impact on spouse unemployment, access to healthcare, healthcare shortages, and recruitment/retention challenges. The project conducted two virtual community consensus workshops with healthcare professionals and local stakeholders in Okinawa to explore barriers to healthcare unemployment. This effort identified four themes regarding barriers to employment with 7 key recommendations for spouse healthcare worker unemployment. Community Partnerships made this possible, including support from the Air and Space Forces Association F2 Grant Program and the National Military Family Association. For more information, check out the Hire Oki Project Guide and read the full project report.   

Military Spouse Co-Working Space

See how the Army has created co-working space opportunities for military spouses in this ADC Presentation and News Article.

Military Spouse Economic Empowerment Zones (MSEEZ)

Working with a broad array of public and private sector supporters, MSEEZ foster collaboration among local stakeholders and work to identify opportunities as well as barriers to entry for military spouses seeking meaningful employment via the Hire, Train, and Advocate pillars. Established to connect military spouses with companies committed to hiring, MSEEZ are collaborative efforts among the local business, civic, and military communities that establish employment networks in municipalities around the country. MSEEZ communities address local military spouse unemployment and underemployment issues through working groups. The working group members are in the local community and represent government, industry, or nonprofit organizations. The MSEEZ Playbook (found here) details best practices for working groups.

Military Spouse Space

Learn here how one community has made a difference to provide a place spouses can work, study and connect. Thanks to a partnership between Vance AFB and the Air & Space Forces Association (AFA), a creative solution was identified that supports spouse employment and promotes mental well-being through socialization and community. 

If you are considering establishing a Spouse Space at your installation check out the Vance Spouse Space Creation Guide.

Do you know of any community partnerships that created best practices related to the Five & Thrive categories?