Skip to content

Wraparound childcare programme

In Spring 2023 the Government announced its ambition that all parents and carers of primary school-aged children who need it will be able to access term-time childcare in their local area from 8am to 6pm, so that parents can access employment and improve labour market participation.

The £289m investment into the programme aims to remove the financial barriers so that schools and providers can improve the availability of provision for parents, addressing immediate demand and driving future demand by ensuring there is sufficient supply of places.

As many of you will be aware the Early Years and Childcare Service conducted an extensive audit with schools, providers and childminders around the supply of wraparound places. A Kent wide parental demand survey was also circulated at the start of the year asking parents to tell us which school their child(ren) attended and what their wraparound childcare needs were. Kent Analytics then assessed the data in order for us to identify where we have gaps in provision.

In order to meet the Government’s expectations for the programme The Education People plans to:

  • create new provision and places where these do not currently exist
  • expand the number of places where provision exists but is not meeting demand
  • extend the opening hours where provision exists but is not operating 8am to 6pm.

There are two streams of funding that can be accessed if you meet the criteria, referred to as programme funding and capital funding.

Programme funding can be used to help cover initial start-up or running costs including a contribution towards staffing; premises; equipment and resources; consumables such as food; training and recruitment; and transport if required such as the hire of a minibus.

The programme funding will be tapered with the highest level of funding available in the first term of opening and reducing each term. This reflects the expectation that programme funding is used to fund set-up and running costs of new and expanded wraparound places and that, as take-up of provision increases, and therefore income from parental payments increases, the level of grant funding needed to contribute to running costs to ensure sustainability reduces.

Childcare provision funded from this grant must meet the definition of wraparound childcare, i.e. be available directly before and after the school day, from 8am to 6pm (or equivalent, if data shows that local demand is for different hours) during school term time for primary school-aged children. It may be run on a school site or at another setting. It should not require parents to pick their children up from school and drop them off at another location. Programme funding cannot be used to contribute to the running costs of existing wraparound childcare places.

Capital funding can be applied for to support building modifications to create new wraparound places or to increase places if demand currently exceeds the space available. As well as building adaptions it could also include outside lighting to enable outdoor space to be used year round. Capital funding will also be available to purchase fixed assets, examples include tables, chairs, larger resources and storage.

The funding is available to schools, providers and childminders. To be eligible schools must have received an Ofsted judgement outcome of good or outstanding. Those who are in receipt of a requires improvement will be given consideration dependent on the sufficiency need in their area. Those who have received an Ofsted judgement outcome of inadequate or who were graded inadequate before they converted to an academy are not eligible to apply.

Parents are expected to pay for wraparound childcare but support with costs will be available through Government subsidies such as Tax-Free Childcare and the childcare element of Universal Credit. As a result, applications will only be approved to those who register to receive Tax-Free Childcare and who agree to provide the necessary evidence for a parent to claim through Universal Credit.

The first step in the process of applying for funding is to contact the Sufficiency and Sustainability Team to express your interest and a Childcare Sufficiency Officer (CSO) will be in contact. If you are applying to expand the number of places you offer or to extend your opening hours, in agreement with the CSO you will be required to submit a pre-application form to a funding panel and agreement will be made as to whether you can proceed to the next stage.

If you are a school that has been identified as not having access to a provision, you are required to inform us whether you wish to set up the provision yourself or whether you would like to advertise for an external provider. If the latter, once you have supplied relevant details we will publish your offer on The Education People Website, link to be shared at a later date. Providers have been advised to check the webpage regularly and to follow the application instructions set out by individual schools. Once they have agreement in principle that they are the successful provider the funding application can be submitted to the panel for review.

The Education People will shortly have available a pre-recorded funding webinar to guide you through the process including more detailed information on eligibility; what can and cannot be funded; financial documents that will need to be completed and submitted as part of the application; and how any funding granted will be monitored. Details of a pre-recorded webinar on setting up a high-quality, inclusive and sustainable wraparound childcare provision will also be available in the next couple of weeks. Both links will be sent in response to a request through the Sufficiency and Sustainability Team inbox.

Applications for funding will be approved in principle by The Education People on KCC’s behalf. Funding will not be released to applicants until final DfE approval of KCC’s programme delivery plan has been received in June or July 2024. Successful applicants will be required to sign a legally binding contract with KCC, which sets out the terms and conditions of the award.

For any queries relating to the wraparound childcare programme please contact

Contact details