Military parents will be granted free wraparound childcare from September to help them enjoy a “thriving family life” alongside their careers.
The Wraparound Childcare (WAC) scheme will be rolled out across the UK in the autumn term following two years of trials.
Open to eligible service families with children aged four to 11, it will provide up to 20 hours per week of free childcare before and after school during term time.
It is expected to save serving personnel about £3,000 per child each year, although the Ministry of Defence (MoD) acknowledged costs vary across the country.
The scheme, which will be open to more than 20,000 children, will give a helping hand to families who need to find new homes and schools when they relocate for work.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “Our armed forces personnel sacrifice a great deal in the service of their country and whether it is providing flexible working or accommodation options, I am determined they feel supported in their family life.
“Providing free wraparound childcare is another clear way of supporting the unique challenges they face as parents and will go a long way to helping them to enjoy a thriving family life as well as a thriving career.”
Corporal Vicki Taylor of the Royal Air Force said: “Everyone I have spoken to who also benefits from wraparound childcare agrees that it’s a fantastic scheme.
“For my family it saved us financially, reduced our stress levels, and has given us more quality time with our children.”