Posted on Wednesday 31st January 2024
Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young people, Mark Sutton.
Staffordshire County Council has been allocated over £1.6 million in government funding to increase the quantity and quality of childcare before and after school across the whole county.
Parents of primary-school aged children across Staffordshire will benefit from access to affordable childcare from 8am to 6pm during school term-time, thanks to a new wraparound childcare programme.
This follows an announcement - back in March 2023 - that local authorities will receive a share of £289 million from the Department for Education to create and deliver this programme across England.
Wraparound care is before and after school childcare for primary school aged children, including breakfast clubs. It aims to support parents with tax-free childcare so they can work the hours they want to.
The county council will use their £1,644,364 share of the funding to map out and accommodate the needs of parents across Staffordshire.
It will also be used to test different ways to increase wraparound options, including working with local private providers - such as childminders - and partnering with schools.
SCC will receive an additional share of £100 million divided between all local authorities to make sure that childcare settings have enough physical space to roll out the programme.
Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young people, Mark Sutton, said:
“No parent should be denied the opportunity to pursue a career because they cannot find appropriate childcare.
“It remains a top priority for us, as the county council, to ensure that every child in Staffordshire has the best start in life. This is why we are rolling out a new programme to ensure that cost-effective childcare from 8am to 6pm will be available at every Staffordshire primary school by September 2026.
“We should start to see an expansion in the availability of wraparound childcare from September 2024, starting in areas where demand is highest.”
The government funding supports the roll out of the childcare wraparound programme until 2026. Childcare fees will be set by each provider.
Parents eligible for tax-free childcare or universal credit childcare will be able to use that support to help pay for wraparound care.
To find out what wraparound care is currently available in your area, reach out to your child’s school or one of Staffordshire’s Family Hubs.