The Armed Forces Families Fund: Early Years programme is now accepting new applications! 

The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust (The Trust) are offering grants of between £5,000 and £50,000 for projects that will help to enhance early childhood education and childcare settings to meet the specific needs of young children from Armed Forces families.

What is the Early Years Programme all about?

The Early Years programme is designed to help Armed Forces families access good quality early childhood education and childcare provision close to where they live or Serve.

The programme will address specific needs that early childhood educators have identified and will award projects that will contribute to one of three outcomes.

  • Increased capacity at the setting to allow more Service children to attend.
  • Providing better learning environments for Service children.
  • Providing appropriate training and development of staff to support Service children.

Who can apply?

Applications are now open for early childhood education and childcare providers serving Armed Forces families near where they live or work. To be eligible, your setting will need to offer group-based childcare where children from Armed Forces families comprise at least 50% of the children on roll.

Have a smaller number of Service children than this? Settings with less than 50% Service children on roll can form ‘clusters’ of two or more settings. As a cluster, you can apply for funding for:

  • staff training with an Armed Forces focus.
  • funding for a shared resource, such as a roving Armed Forces Early Years Support Worker.

Local authorities and organisations providing specialised training for staff to support Service children can also apply.

What type of projects are we looking to support?

The Trust are looking for projects that can significantly benefit Armed Forces families with children under 5 years by improving access to good quality childcare.  You’ll need to show that your project will address existing support gaps, deliver sustainable change, and be developed in partnership with Armed Forces communities.

Sonia Howe, Director of Policy at the Trust, said

“We are delighted to once again be able to offer opportunities for Early Years settings to build on the provision they can offer for Service children. The three core outcomes of this programme represent a positive future for Armed Forces families with children under 5 years. We are excited to see how settings interpret the programme outcomes, and we’re looking forward to receiving some great applications for support.”

The first application deadline is 12pm on 24 July 2024. A second round will close at 12pm on 20 November 2024.

Find out more

You can find full details of the programme, eligibility and how to apply on the Trust website.

Join the ‘Early Years’ webinar 

The Trust are inviting you to a Lunch & Learn webinar for the Early Years programme to learn in more detail about the application process for this exciting grant and a chance to meet the team and ask any questions you have.  The webinar will take place on Wednesday 12 June 12pm-1pm.

Sign up now on the following link: https://events.teams.microsoft.com/event/56809230-f74b-4373-94b4-07b21d93e300@572211ac-11a2-4107-aff2-ed44b7c6d939

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