Armed Forces Families Fund supports 13 projects in latest round of awards

The Early Years programme has awarded over £354,000 to 10 projects which will enhance early childhood education and childcare settings of young children from Armed Forces families.

The Research Grants programme has awarded over £169,000 to three projects that will develop a stronger understanding of complex educational or welfare issues affecting Armed Forces families – and propose solutions.

What is the Armed Forces Families Fund?

The AF3 supports projects that meet the aims of the Armed Forces Families Strategy. The Fund was launched in September 2022 and amalgamated existing education-focused funds, under one umbrella.

The MOD partnered with the Trust to administer the AF3: Early Years and Research Grants programmes, as well as the Service Pupil Support programme and the Supporting Partners programme.

The Early Years programme

Projects funded under this programme will help Service families and children to access good quality, early childhood education and childcare provision. This includes through improved outdoor facilities, increased capacity, and training aimed at providing a better understanding of the unique needs of Service families through holistic, Service family centric provision and resources.

The projects funded include a mix of outdoor learning, support for children with SEND, and training for staff.

Chestnut House Day Nursery received £7,920 for their project, ‘Forest Schools’. The project will promote the holistic development of Service children through staff training. It will improve outdoor provision and facilitate the delivery of first-class outdoor activities.

YMCA Brunel Group were awarded £80,000 for their ‘YMCA Little Ducklings Military Project’ which will provide high quality training for staff around a range of subjects to facilitate holistic, Service family provision and understanding.

A full list of the projects supported can be found on the Trust’s website.

The Research Grants programme

The three projects funded under the Research Grants Programme will look at:

  • the impact of parental deployment
  • Service children’s educational transitions
  • the effects of Service life on children with SEND

The University of Chester received £59,894 for their project, ‘Service children’s transitions in education’. The project will investigate the educational risks and benefits associated with Service children’s transitions.

Professor Alan Finnegan, Principal Investigator, said:

“As an Armed Forces Community research team, we are extremely grateful to the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust for funding this incredibly important study. Most importantly, the research will provide a vehicle to clearly show to Service families that the best education for their children is of paramount importance. This study provides an opportunity for Service parents and children to shape and inform future policy, in both the short and long term, to help Service children reach their full potential.”

Increased understanding of the challenges Service children face

Sonia Howe, Director Policy and Comms at the Trust said:

“We’re pleased to be able to support three fantastic projects through the Research programme – each focusing on a different area of work and each standing to make huge inroads into the understanding we have around how Service life affects Service children and their families.”

Find out more

For a full list of all awardees from both these programmes, check out the Trust’s website:

The second round of the Early Years programme is still accepting applications. Applications should be submitted via the Trust’s website by 12 January 2024.

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