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RAF Families Federation publish their 2021 Childcare Report

In 2020 we asked for responses to a survey on childcare provision and are now delighted to publish our latest Childcare Report today (16th February 2021).

With continuing attention from policy makers, government and the RAF we want to make sure that the RAF family’s voice is heard and your experiences to inform decisions. It is an important opportunity to update our evidence from 2016 and consider what, if anything has changed for both our RAF community, and with the national picture.

Comments in the report include:

“Frustrating that childcare differs from Unit to Unit and you can be financially penalised depending on where you are assigned due to childcare costs.”

“The lack of childcare to support shift working including night shifts is a barrier to women remaining in the workforce. The opening hours were really limited in the on-site nursery and did not align with shifts worked in the Base. Very much geared around standard opening hours. I had to use off site childcare which offered more flexible opening hours and this absolutely should be the reverse. If we are 24/7 we need 24/7 childcare.”

Thank you to all that responded, despite the immense challenges then and that we all continue to face now through the pandemic. Your input is invaluable.

RAF FF Director, Maria Lyle said:

“We hope that these important views on childcare from the RAF community will help to shape and inform future improvements to provision. There has been some welcome changes announced over the past two years, but more are needed to ensure that serving personnel and their families can access sustainable priced and flexible childcare. Childcare is a vital piece of the jigsaw for so many personnel and families – we want to deliver better options for them.”

With continuing attention from policy makers, government and the RAF we want to make sure that the RAF family’s voice is heard and your experiences to inform decisions. It is an important opportunity to update our evidence from 2016 and consider what, if anything has changed for both our RAF community, and with the national picture. Further information and questions can be directed to our Policy Advisor (Education and Childcare): louise.briggs@raf-ff.org.uk

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