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We have recently launched two surveys –one for RAuxAF personnel and one for those families who access childcare. At the time of writing, we have had abrilliant response to both, so ahuge ‘thank you’ to everyone who has already taken the time to complete them. The good news is that, if you have not yet done so, there’s still time to have your say,so go to our website at

Childcare is an issue for many in terms of access and, especially,cost. Last year just 137 people responded to our survey and it’s fair to say that it probably lost much of its credibility with the powers that be as aresult. What’s even more disappointing is that, after we published our report, we had loads of people coming to us saying that we had hit several nails on the head and that they wished they had filled in the survey after all! So far this year,the response has been much more positive and after just 2weeks we’ve gathered over 1,000 responses. Keep them coming, please. We want to get this


issue on the MOD agenda because it influences adversely so many other initiatives like spouse employment and Help to Buy.The biggest single reason we are given as to why spouse/partners do not get ajob is the cost and availability of childcare. Yetasecond income is crucial to many families if they are to be able to save for adeposit, pay the mortgage or even pay the private sector rents that landlords are asking for in many parts of the country.Idon’t think we can expect the MOD to routinely subsidise childcare costs but we do think they can help by having a childcare policy (there isn’t one at the moment) and working with local authorities to ensure parity of access and cost wherever possible.

For the RAuxAF personnel reading this, our survey is aimed explicitly at understanding what works and what does not work for you. We’ll report your views and concerns to the HQ Air Reserves staff,identifying trends and issues that they may need to/ want to address. So, again, another

plea: If you want your voice heard, get on our website and complete the survey.Ifyou don’t tell us, we can’t tell them!

Finally,awarm welcome to our newest member of staff.Graeme Spark is aformer CASWO,asjust about everybody in ablue uniform will know,and we are delighted that he is bringing his knowledge and experience to us in order to help you. He’s made his mark already with some great ideas but doesn’t yet realise he’s on the washing up rota for the whole of August.

That’s it from me. Regular readers will notice I’ve stayed right away from anything to do with National Insurance this time…..

Enjoy the magazine and have agreat summer.


Summer 2016

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