Help for parents in Central Bedfordshire as council asks for views wraparound school care pilot scheme

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Breakfast clubs and after school activities could be provided

A scheme to provide wraparound care for youngsters before and after school is being piloted in Central Bedfordshire.

The council is asking families to take part in a short survey about their childcare needs to help shape future plans after becoming one of 16 local authorities selected to co-design the Government’s National Wraparound Childcare Programme.

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The programme aims to support families by providing extended childcare services beyond regular school hours, with things like breakfast clubs or after school clubs running until 6pm. Wraparound childcare can be offered by schools, or private, voluntary and independent providers including childminders and early years settings.

The council is looking for views on wraparound care - Photo Ben BirchallThe council is looking for views on wraparound care - Photo Ben Birchall
The council is looking for views on wraparound care - Photo Ben Birchall

Many schools provide homework clubs, specific sports, music or craft sessions after school, but this is not defined as wraparound childcare, which is a paid provision and offers a wide range of activities and food for children.

Central Bedfordshire Council will be awarded a share of the £289 million start-up funding made available by the Government to introduce new wraparound care programmes or increase the number of places available at already existing programmes. The programme will only focus on primary school-aged children from reception to Year 6, Monday to Friday during term time.

The council is now asking parents and carers to complete a survey to help understand their needs and plan for future demand.

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Councillor Hayley Whitaker, executive member for families, education and children, said: “This is a really important project and we’re delighted to be a part of it. By extending childcare services beyond school hours, parents will have the flexibility to pursue their careers while knowing that their children are enjoying fun activities in a safe environment.

“It’s important that all families who need or want access to wraparound childcare can benefit from it because no family should face barriers in accessing quality childcare. That’s why it’s so important for parents and carers to take part in our survey; we want to make sure our offer meets their needs.”

Parents and carers can take the survey by visiting The survey will be open until Monday, February 5.

The council has also shared surveys with schools and private, voluntary, independent organisations and childminders so they can have their say.