Money Wellness
Picture of primary school children running down the school corridor smiling
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calendar icon10 Jul 2023

Working parents to get £289m for wraparound primary school care

Selected councils are to get £289m to deliver childcare between 8am and 6pm for parents with kids at primary school.

Sixteen local councils have been selected to trial the plan, with a view to rolling it out nationwide.

Those councils are: Barnsley, Blackburn with Darwen, Cambridgeshire, central Bedfordshire, Cornwall, Dudley, Gateshead, Hampshire, Hartlepool, Kingston upon Hull, City of Merton, Newham, Norfolk, Nottinghamshire, Sheffield and Wiltshire.

Some of these areas are expected to begin offering wraparound care from as early as summer 2024.

If you live in one of these areas, you should visit the website of your local council for more information.

The new plans for wraparound care follow a separate announcement that nurseries are set to receive a £204m cash boost.

Every area across the country is getting a share of the investment which is designed to help nurseries with the pressure of staffing, training, and rising bills. The government wants to make sure nurseries are able to meet its promise to increase free early years childcare to 15 hours a week from nine months old.

The amount nurseries will receive per child will also increase from September, from an average of £5.29 to £5.62 for three and four year olds, and from an average of £6 to £7.95 for two year olds.

 

What are the changes to free early years childcare?

From September 2024, parents of all children from the age of nine months will be able to get 15 hours of free childcare a week.

From September 2025, working parents of children under the age of five will be entitled to 30 hours free childcare a week.

 

What are parents currently entitled to?

All three and four year old children are currently entitled to 15 hours of free childcare per week across 38 weeks of the year (school term time).

Families where both parents work (or the sole parent is working in a lone parent family) may get up to 30 hours free childcare per week for their three and four year olds.

Check with your early years provider that they accept funded places, as some don’t.

 

What else do I need to know?

You don’t need to take up your full entitlement if you don’t want to - for example you may choose to only use 25 hours if that suits you.

You can also split your funding between more than one provider, though it’s limited to no more than two sites in one day.

 

How do I apply for free childcare?

You don’t have to apply. Contact your nursery, childminder or other provider who will apply for the funding on your behalf once you have shown them proof of your child’s age e.g. their birth certificate.

Avatar of Caroline Chell

Caroline Chell

Caroline has worked in financial communications for more than 10 years, writing content on subjects such as pensions, mortgages, loans and credit cards, as well as stockbroking and investment advice.

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