NDSP: Eligibility

Minimum Age Requirements

DoD dependents under the NDSP follow the same criteria as DoDEA policy for entrance into kindergarten and first grade.
  • It is DoDEA policy that a child must reach age 5 or 6 years old for entrance into kindergarten and first grade respectively.
  • For a school following the Northern Hemisphere school calendar which typically starts in July, August or September, the child must reach age 5 by 1 September of the enrolling school year to the US equivalent of kindergarten or must reach age 6 by 1 September for the enrolling school year for first grade.
  • For a school following the Southern Hemisphere school calendar which typically starts in January, February or March, the child must reach age 5 by 1 February of the enrolling school year to the US equivalent of kindergarten or must reach age 6 by 1 February for the enrolling school year for first grade.
  • NDSP will fund only one year prior to the equivalent of US first grade (kindergarten). In schools utilizing a British curriculum, the equivalent of US kindergarten is Year 1.

Please note: NDSP cannot reimburse families for any educational expenses incurred prior to one year before the U.S. equivalent of first grade (kindergarten). If a host nation has a compulsory age requirement for students, but the NDSP student will not be enrolled in the equivalent of US kindergarten, the family will need to enroll the child in the host nation public school or they may choose to send the child to a private school at their own expense.


Eligibility for Non-DoD Schools Program (NDSP)

The following conditions must exist to be eligible for Non-DoD Schools Program support:

  1. Sponsor must be a military service member serving on active duty and stationed overseas on Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders, or
    A civilian employee of the Department of Defense who is employed on a permanent full time basis, assigned overseas, and is either a citizen or a national of the United States;
  2. Sponsors must be authorized to transport dependents* to or from an overseas area at government expense, and
  3. Sponsors must be provided an allowance for living quarters in that area.
  4. Sponsors must be assigned to a location outside the commuting area of a DoD school.

*School-aged dependents are defined as an individual:

  1. Who is the child, stepchild, adopted child, or ward of a DoD sponsor, residing with the sponsor, and is eligible for other command sponsorship services, postal services privileges, and
    Who meets the host nation age requirement for kindergarten, and
  2. Has not completed secondary school and will not reach his or her 21st birthday by September 1 of the current school year (or February 1 in the southern hemisphere); or
  3. Between 3 and 5 years of age with developmental delays and disabilities may be eligible for services if they meet the DoDEA special education criteria.

For more information please submit any requests to