The children of service personnel will be entitled to free breakfast and after-school childcare as part of new measures to better support the armed forces and their loved ones.
The Ministry Of Defence (MOD) recently introduced flexible working arrangements, expanded offerings to co-habiting couples and extended Help to Buy until the end of 2022. This has allowed military personnel to borrow a deposit of up to half of their annual salary interest free, to contribute towards buying a home, moving house, or building an extension.
The launch of this new wraparound childcare pilot comes amidst the wider return to education following the disruption of the coronavirus pandemic. Armed forces personnel have provided critical support to their colleagues in health and social care, often deployed away from home at short notice.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace:
Service families are at the very heart of the armed forces community and it is vital that we provide them with the appropriate flexibility and freedom to bring up their children while they serve.
I am determined to make the armed forces a more modern, inclusive and family friendly employer, in order to improve the working environment for retention of all personnel but also to encourage more talented women to pursue long, and fulfilling careers in uniform.
Defence People and Veterans Minister Johnny Mercer:
I know from first-hand experience that while Service life is hugely rewarding, it isn’t without its challenges when it comes to juggling the demands of family life.
It is only right that those who continue to do extraordinary work on behalf of the country are recognised and rewarded, and I’m pleased we’re continuing to honour our commitment to our hard-working personnel so they receive the right support to care for loved ones.
RAF High Wycombe and RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire will be the first bases to offer the scheme, with service personnel based in Catterick and Plymouth able to access the pilot scheme from January 2021. Personnel at High Wycombe and Halton will be notified shortly on further details of the service and how to sign up and will be engaged throughout the process.