NFF news: 21st July, 2022
Following positive feedback from a successful pilot, the MOD announced today the full roll-out of the wraparound childcare (WAC) scheme.
Defence is pleased to announce that the Wraparound childcare (WAC) scheme will be rolled out across the UK from Autumn 2022. WAC was a manifesto commitment and is one of many steps that the Ministry of Defence is taking to make the Armed Forces a more modern, inclusive, and family friendly employer.
The Full UK Rollout (FRO) comes after successful pilots of the WAC scheme at RAF High Wycombe, RAF Halton, Plymouth area, Catterick Garrison, Lincolnshire and Woolwich, where over 1,800 children have already benefited from the scheme.
Lieutenant General James Swift, Chief of Defence People, said: “The Wraparound Childcare (WAC) scheme is a cornerstone of Defence’s new Family Strategy, which aims to strengthen the support available to Service families. It will provide Service personnel and their partners with more choice in the type of work they are able to take up as well as the hours they are able to do that work. WAC will provide stability, consistency, and routine for children, which is particularly valued in Service families where disruption is part of our way of life.
“Feedback from the WAC pilots has been extremely positive. The scheme is helping Service children form new friendships and settle into new schools and locations more easily. This is a great initiative which will help our people enormously with the challenge of balancing their professional and family lives.”
NFF CEO Sarah Clewes said, ‘’The NFF has been at the forefront of raising awareness of the childcare challenges for serving families since it carried out its first childcare survey in 2016, and its follow-up survey in 2021. We are very grateful to everyone who responded so generously with their time and thoughts. You have allowed us to represent your experiences with authority and in detail to the Government, the Royal Navy and other stakeholders. We welcome today’s news as it is a positive step for our community.’’
- From the start of the 2022 Autumn term, WAC funding will be available to all eligible Service families with children aged 4 to 11 years, who are in school or being home schooled in the UK.
- If eligible, Personnel can claim up to 20 hours per week of funding for each child that is attending before and after school care during term time.
- WAC is known as ‘Out of School care’ in Wales and ‘School Aged Childcare’ in Scotland.
Further details will follow. In the meantime, families who wish to utilise this scheme are encouraged to follow the below:
Every child that personnel want to claim WAC funding for must be recorded on JPA and must have a Tax-Free Childcare (TFC) account. If your child(ren) is not recorded on JPA and/or you do not have a TFC account, Service families should take the following steps now:
- RECORD your child(ren) on JPA.
- READ information about TFC accounts by visiting this link.
- CHECK if your family will financially benefit from having a TFC account or a salary sacrifice childcare voucher scheme, including the Armed Forces Childcare Voucher Scheme (AFCVS (Sodexo vouchers)). You cannot have both at the same time. To make an informed decision about which scheme suits your family best, use the childcare calculator on GOV.UK. Please be aware, if you choose to leave the AFCVS, you cannot re-join it.
- APPLY: If you choose to claim WAC funding, you can create a TFC account for your child(ren) on GOV.UK.
We will upload any further information onto our childcare section as soon as we hear from the MOD. We will also keep you updated via our social media channels.
This is really positive news for our families and we are delighted to share the Wraparound Childcare announcement with you!