BwD Council picked to trial wraparound childcare

Published Tuesday 11 July 2023 at 18:18

Blackburn with Darwen Council leaders have welcomed the news that it’s one of 16 councils chosen by the government to develop its wraparound childcare delivery plans.

The scheme would mean parents of primary school aged children in England will be able to access childcare in their local area between the hours of 08:00 and 18:00.

All 16 councils in England will receive their share of £289m in funding to deliver the provision from January 2024 before the scheme is expanded to further councils from September 2024.

The funding from The Department for Education will support local authorities to work with schools, trusts and other providers to set up and scale up wraparound childcare provision.

Councillor Julie Gunn, Executive Member for Children, Young People and Education, said:

“We know how important it is for our parents to have access to childcare outside of those primary school hours and are really excited to be one of the first councils to receive funding to achieve this.

“We will be working closely with the government, our schools, private providers, partners and parents so that together we can make this a successful and achievable option.”

Blackburn with Darwen is the only council chosen from the Northwest to pilot the programme. The other 15 councils are:

  • Barnsley
  • Cambridgeshire
  • Central Bedfordshire
  • Cornwall
  • Dudley
  • Gateshead
  • Hampshire
  • Hartlepool
  • Hull
  • Merton
  • Newham
  • Norfolk
  • Nottinghamshire
  • Sheffield
  • Wiltshire

The government also announced that Nurseries are set to receive a £204 million cash boost as part of its promise to deliver the largest ever investment in childcare.

Every area across the country is getting a share of the government funding which childcare providers can use to ease cost pressures such as staffing costs, training and bills.

However, the Department will shortly launch a consultation on how the funding for the new entitlements in 2024-25 will be distributed, to make sure it remains fair.

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