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Wraparound Childcare Programme

What is the Wraparound Childcare Programme?

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The Wraparound Childcare Programme's aim is that by 2026 all parents and carers of primary aged children who need it will be able to access term time childcare in their local area, so that parents can access employment and therefore improve labour market participation. This includes regular before and after school provision that runs during term time from 8am until 6pm, Monday to Friday, either on a school site or at another local setting. This funding will support local authorities to work with primary schools and private, voluntary and independent providers including childminders and early years settings. There should be no requirement for parents to pick their children up from school and drop them off at another location.

Parents of primary school aged children will still be expected to pay to access this provision, as this programme aims to increase the availability of childcare, rather than subsidise childcare. Tax-Free Childcare or Universal Credit Childcare can be used to help pay for wraparound childcare.

The Department for Education (DfE) have produced guidance for local authorities and schools and trusts, which sets out the expectations of this ambitious programme.

Links to guidance:

Link to LA Handbook - National Wraparound Childcare Programme Handbook - a guide for local authorities (

Link to Schools Handbook - Wraparound childcare: guidance for schools and trusts in England (

What is the offer?

Wraparound childcare may be delivered by schools or through private, voluntary or independent providers, including childminders and early years settings. Programme  funding is available to support settings to expand existing provision or for settings to set up new provision where there is sufficient demand. Provision that is funded through the programme should, in the vast majority of cases, be self-sustaining by the end of the planned programme (i.e. 2026 onwards). This means that the provision can continue beyond this point as it will generate sufficient funding through parent payments, without the initial 'pump-prime' funding made available through this programme.

The initial requirement of each school is to survey the demand of families needing access to wraparound childcare. If sufficient demand is shown to exist, we can support schools and/or other settings to access funding through completing an expression of interest (EOI). Once an expression of interest is submitted to the Early Years Funding Panel inbox, ,  the panel team will assess the application and decide whether it is to be funded.

We expect any setting receiving funding to sign up to accept Tax Free Childcare in order to support parents to meet their childcare costs.

Who are the team?

As part of the programme requirements, a new team of Wraparound Development Workers (WDWs) have been recruited to support the programme, and are supported by existing team members working in the early years and childcare team, comprising of a Project Manager, Finance Advisor, Workforce Development Officer, Sufficiency Manager, Improvement and Inclusion Officer, Data Analyst, Improvement & Development Workers and Admin Support.

Our team will be supporting settings in developing provision, ensuring demand is assessed and met and high quality is achieved.

How do we work?

Each Wraparound Development Worker (WDW) has responsibility for working across an identified area of the county. Initial contact can either be by the WDW contacting schools in their area for an initial discussion, or by any interested setting contacting us directly -

We will have a discussion about your plans and support you to assess demand. We can create individualised parent demand surveys for you to share with families. Once the results have been analysed, we will agree next steps which will include completion of an expression of interest. If this is approved a full application will be required to assess the level of funding required.

Once funding is agreed ongoing support will be provided by the WDWs to ensure plans are implemented. This will include ongoing monitoring over the funding period to ensure provision can grow to meet demand and that quality of provision and longer term sustainability is supported.

How we can be contacted?

If you have any questions about the Wraparound Childcare programme, please email and your question will be responded to by a member of our team.

If you would like to receive up to date communications about the programme, please sign up to the wraparound newsletter here -

How you can shape the support we offer?

As part of the development of the Programme, a consultative group meets regularly to work alongside the local authority to shape the Wraparound Childcare offer. Please email if you are interested in joining this group.

What are the requirements of providers funded through the programme?

In line with Department for Education (DfE) requirements we require funded provision to

  • deliver provision that is child centred, safe, easily accessible and responds to the needs of families
  • be inclusive to all children and make reasonable adjustments for those children with disabilities.
  • be Ofsted registered
  • sign up to accept Tax Free Childcare and Universal Credit childcare
  • deliver provision between 8 am and 6 pm, unless demand shows a need for alternative hours
  • provide data/information to the local authority as requested to support monitoring