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Awareness & Understanding of Children from Armed Forces Families EARLY YEARS

by The Military Liaison Group (Education) Highland Council

Pages 2 and 3 of 35

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Awareness & Understanding
of Children from Armed Forces Families


An Overview for Managers,
Educators and Practitioners
Most children from Armed Forces families can be ok and be developing resilience which can help them cope and develop positive relationships which can be supported by their wider protective factors that are around them.
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Click Here for a research summary on Forces families, education experiences and attainment
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So why might this learning resource be helpful to you?

There are unique challenges that Children and Young People can face by being part of an Armed Forces family.

Research tells us that 10% of our communities will be from the Armed Forces – Serving, Reservist or Veteran

Armed Forces Families are being identified across Highland, but this data is vastly underreported.

If we know a child is from an Armed Forces family, we have a better understanding of how best to support and target their needs at certain times.
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Army life for under-fives
A CHILDCARE poll conducted by AFF in 2017 revealed that 59 per cent of parents had already used two or more settings for a child under the age of five
A new posting affects every member of your Army family – even those too young to understand or have their say. You might expect older children to kick up a fuss about moving house and school but what about under-fives?
We will look at this thought later in the presentation....
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“Kiernan started with a childminder in Bergen but when the garrison closed, we moved him to a nursery in Paderborn, then we were posted back to the UK where he’s had two more childminders,” recalled Katherine.

“I don’t think many nurseries or childminders are fully prepared to deal with a military child,” she added. “There should be greater support for this special group of children.” 
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“Very young, pre-school children, are impacted differently because it tends to impact on their developmental stages. So the fact that perhaps we’ve had children in nursery school who were blossoming, meeting their developmental milestones and then Dad goes away or Mum goes way, or in the rare cases both Mum and Dad go away, and then suddenly we are back to toileting issues again, we are back to bedwetting, we are back to eating differences. The emotional impact is on their development stages and milestones”
“…..younger children experience
more disruption as a result of separation, resulting in short-term displays of increased dependence/clinginess to non-serving spouse, and increased irritability/arguments with siblings”
“The impact of deployment appears to differ depending on the age of the child. Younger children’s experiences were characterised by sadness, missing their serving parent’s physical presence and externalising their behaviours”.
CLICK HERE to read "The Impact of Service Life on the Military Child from the NAVAL CHILDREN'S CHARITY
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New assignments often result in the family moving to a new location.
“By the time my daughter was 3, I had spent about as much time away with the military as I had at home. Regular deployments and exercises were disruptive for her and having to change nurseries as we relocated with my job was difficult as she was shy and took time to develop friendships.”
“My son had 7 different childcare providers before he started school. Adjusting to different people and routines was not always easy – particularly as we were using 3 different providers at one stage to juggle childcare to enable my spouse to work.”
For children settling into a new setting, making new friends and continuity of their education there can be issues.
For parents/carers, finding suitable childcare can be challenging.
Parents of children with additional support needs may face particular challenges to find suitable and appropriate provision to meet their children’s needs.
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The Child’s Journey ……
UK military bases are spread widely across the world
Be curious about the child’s experiences…..
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An Armed Forces Family
Being from an Armed Forces family could be because the child's mother, father, brother or sister is serving, or another close relative. 
It could be because their Grandparent is serving, is a Reservist or who maybe a Veteran.
It is helpful to also consider that a close family friend, who may be the significant person in that child’s life, is serving member of the Armed Forces.
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