The Armed Forces Families Fund: Early Years programme

The Armed Forces Families Fund: Early Years programme is now open for new applications. Grants of between £5,000 and £50,000 will be awarded 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 this year we’ll 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? We are also offering the chance for settings with less than 50% Service children on roll to 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?

We 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 us that your project will address existing support gaps, deliver sustainable change, and be developed in partnership with Armed Forces communities.

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 Covenant Fund’s dedicated programme page.


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