Cpl Vicki and her Army veteran husband sit on a sofa with their four sons on their lap

Defence Childcare support helps military family of six

I’m an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) technician in the Royal Air Force, so being available for my work is essential to help keep the UK Armed Forces running. My husband is an Army veteran who now works long hours in haulage.

We have four children, including twins — so childcare is extortionate. We’ve tried lots of solutions. My mother gave up work and came to help look after the kids for a year, and last year when I deployed, we employed an au pair.

It’s stressful to juggle two full time jobs and the kids’ schedules, and at times we were working just to pay for our childcare.

Cpl Vicki, wearing her RAF uniform, takes a selfie with her four sons in a kitchen

When I heard about Wraparound Childcare I thought it was amazing. It offers financial support to pay for childcare, and in my case, I applied for my boys to join their school’s breakfast and after-school clubs, which we couldn’t afford before this support was available.

It’s saved us financially and helped me get my boys into a regular routine. And it means that our lives are a little more stress free — my husband and I no longer have to adapt our work schedules around the school run. I can do a full 8–5 without taking my work home and making up hours in the evenings like I used to. Now I’m available to support the ICT needs of my colleagues when we’re at work, and I can focus on my kids at home.

I will be deploying abroad again next year, and it’s a relief to know that this will mean one less burden on my husband.

Cpl Vicki in her RRAF uniform and hat, takes a selfie with her youngest son.

We still pay for our youngest to attend the same services as he doesn’t yet qualify for wraparound childcare — but to have the fees come down from four to one opened up an option which we simply didn’t have before.

Everyone I’ve spoken to who also benefits from Wraparound Childcare agrees that it’s a fantastic scheme. For my family, it’s saved us financially, reduced our stress levels and has given us more quality time with our children.

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