To apply early for the continuity of education allowance that would mean that the child does not meet the eligibility criteria for age. I have determined that on all counts my child will get the allowance when they reach the eighth birthday. As my child is seven and I have a long winded mitigating statement to go with my reasons for asking I was seeking possibilities that someone out there may have been successful.
Note the Secretary of State for Defence speaks in depth about what he thinks should be done for family and stability whilst people deploy. But there seems to be only one system in place to help care for under eights when you deploy, it is Social Services, if you do not have family members available and a finances to pay for a full time nanny. Of course you could pull the welfare card like so many women are accused of doing in the army. That is not something I am willing to do at this stage.
As I understand it you can claim CEA for the year in which the child is 8. In other words if the child will be 8 during that school year then they can start early and SPVA, if you make a case, will pay CEA. You should look at the JSP (your admin office has a copy) and also speak to CEAS at Upavon for advice. You need to be sure that your 7 year old can cope with boarding at that age and find a school that will be happy to have them. This is also not a 6 months board and then back to living at home business - that is not the point of CEA - so you need to be pretty sure that this is the route you want to take. Also, your child may not take kindly to going to some super prep school and then being removed back to the state sector. If you are starting CEA, then in my view, it means that you are committing for the long term - until they are 18.
Thank you, I have requested help of CEAS, but one interesting thing I found in the British Army Guide to the Employment and Deployment of serving Parents is that they consider Single parents should utilize a foster service in the absence of carers. I have no intention of bouncing my child from school to school as I think he deserves stability and am trying to maintain that whilst providing him with a roof over his head as well.
Nb. It costs the government Â£633 a week to foster a child.