Free wraparound childcare for the Armed Forces

AFF is pleased to see the announcement by Defence Secretary the Rt Hon Ben Wallace MP that the children of Service personnel aged four to 11 will be entitled to free breakfast and after-school childcare as part of new measures to better support the Armed Forces and their families.

A series of pilot schemes will be run during the next year, beginning in September at RAF High Wycombe and RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire. Service families based in Catterick and Plymouth will be able to access the scheme from January 2021. The scheme will be rolled out more widely from autumn 2021.

The results of the childcare survey we ran earlier this year identified that many of our families had concerns over the cost of wraparound care, so this announcement is welcomed as a step forward to improving support for the service community.

Whilst wraparound childcare was one area that Army families highlighted, the ability to access childcare places when moving so frequently was also a key concern.  We hope that the pilot scheme will take into account the overall availability of settings who can provide wraparound care, both in the UK and in overseas locations.

Once more information becomes available on the pilot scheme in Catterick we will provide further details to families. For more, click here.



    Hi Kate, thanks for leaving a comment. So far, we haven’t seen the details of how this will operate but we will communicate them to families as they become available.

    Would this include married unaccompanied service families also? We are the ones that always seem to get forgotten about even though we make the same sacrifices.

    Hi Gemma, thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, we have no sight so far of the detail of how the scheme will operate and who will be eligible. We will be working with the Army to understand these details and will communicate them to families as they become available.

    I would also be interested to know if this would be for married but unaccompanied as we are buying our own house for stability but are struggling with before and after school childcare. The children are still military children with their serving parent often away so would we as a family would definetly benefit from this as would many many others.

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