A celebration event was held in the Town Hall today to recognise and showcase the BiG Community Challenges taken on by students from schools across Sheffield.
More help with childcare for families
The Department for Education (DfE) has announced that Sheffield City Council will be one of 16 local authorities that will help to design a process to expand wraparound childcare for primary schools. Wraparound care includes breakfast clubs, after school clubs and other school services that can help care for children outside of normal school hours from 8am to 6pm.
Announced in the Budget, the government will give local authorities in England £289 million over two academic years, starting in September 2024. This will support local authorities to work with schools, trusts and other providers to set up and scale up wraparound childcare provision. Wraparound care includes breakfast clubs, after school clubs and other school services that can help care for children outside of normal school hours from 8am to 6pm.
This DfE's national programme will also allow local authorities to test flexible ways of providing childcare and gather evidence of what works.
As one of 16 local authorities chosen to help develop the process for this, Sheffield will be able to help shape the plans so that our families and schools will benefit from this new initiative. The other councils that will be involved in the process are Barnsley, Blackburn, Cambridgeshire, Central Bedfordshire, Cornwall, Dudley, Gateshead, Hampshire, Hartlepool, Hull, Merton, Newham, Norfolk, Nottinghamshire and Wiltshire.
This co-design group of local authorities will help DfE understand what help they need to provide to local authorities and schools before the national roll out of the wraparound programme and help them to understand the potential delivery challenges.
Councillor Maroof Raouf, Deputy Chair of the Children and Families Committee, said: “This is such good news for working families in the city who will be supported to be able to work knowing that more funded childcare will be available. Families in the UK should always have access to this provision and certainly now, at a time when living costs are rising.
“I’m delighted that Sheffield will play a crucial role in the design of the new process. We will be very keen to make sure that the way that this care is provided will truly help to unlock employment opportunities for parents by removing barriers to work. The real needs of families must be met in the right way.
“There are already some schools and providers delivering excellent before and after school care in the city and the council will work hard to increase the supply of wraparound care in Sheffield so that this is available for all families, tackling the barriers to work currently experienced by many people in the city.”
More information about childcare entitlements now or the coming changes is at: https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/
What funded childcare will look like:
- 15 hours of funded childcare for working parents of 2 year olds - April 2024
- 15 hours of funded childcare for working parents of 9 months to 3 year olds – September 2024
- 30 hours funded childcare for working parents of children from age 9 months until they start school - September 2025
- Changes to universal credit childcare payments
- The ambition that all parents of primary school aged children will be able to access full wraparound care between 8am and 6pm in their local area by September 2026
- Increased funding rates for childcare providers and financial incentives for new childminders