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Children: Day Care

Volume 458: debated on Tuesday 13 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) if he will make a statement on his proposals for wraparound child care to be introduced; when such proposals will be published; what representations he has received on such proposals; and how much has been allocated to the initiative; (127006)

(2) which schools will qualify for wraparound funding.

We want all schools to offer access to extended services by 2010, providing a core offer of activities, with at least half of all primary and a third of secondary schools doing so by 2008. Primary schools are expected to provide, as part of the core offer, access to affordable child care at or through their school from 8 am to 6 pm all year round linked to a varied menu of activities. Secondary schools are not expected to offer formal child care but they are expected to provide access to a varied menu of activities (study support activities such as sports clubs, music tuition, dance, drama and art clubs) before and after school from 8 am to 6 pm and during the school holidays in response to demand. Our proposals for access to wraparound child care through schools were first published in our 10- year child care strategy “Choice for parents, the best start for children” in December 2004. We published further details in June 2005 in the Extended Schools Prospectus “Extended schools: Access to opportunities and services for all”. We have received a number of formal and informal representations on this, including a number of parliamentary questions on this subject over the past two years.

We are providing £680 million over 2006-08 to support schools in developing access to extended services. £430 million is being routed via local authorities through the Standards Fund and the General Sure Start Grant, £250 million directly to schools through the School Standards Grant (SSG). Currently, over 4,000 schools are providing access to the core offer of extended services.