SUPPORT for Hampshire’s working parents who need access to term-time childcare will be supported by almost £6m as part of the national wraparound childcare programme.

If approved, the programme will only focus on primary school children, those in reception to Year 6, Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm during term time.

At the 2023 spring budget, chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced that the Government would provide up to £289m of start-up funding over two academic years to support local authorities and providers in England to introduce or expand childcare provision, which parents of primary school-aged children will be able to pay to access.

The expansion aims to support parents working more hours or gaining employment. The Government said this is because many working parents are currently working fewer hours, even when their children are school-aged, due to gaps in childcare provision.

Only 16 councils were chosen to develop the pathfinder wraparound childcare plan; among them, Hampshire County Council will be getting £5.889m to expand the wraparound provision.

For the financial year 2023/24, the county council has been allocated funding of up to £50,877.88, £3,996,585.78 for 2024/25 and a provisional £1,841,348.13 for 2025/26.

Wraparound childcare is childcare that ‘wraps around’ the conventional school day during school term time for school-age children. Schools and private, voluntary and independent (PVI) providers can offer this provision, including childminders and early years settings. It can be run on a school site or at another setting in the area.

There are 426 primary and all-through schools in Hampshire, 231 with full wraparound provision, 184 with partial provision and 11 with none.

At the moment, breakfast clubs are provided by 58 per cent of schools, while 32 per cent are private, voluntary, and independent (PVI) clubs located on school sites. The remaining 10 per cent are schools where children access a community provision for breakfast clubs.

For after-school clubs, 40 per cent of schools offer the service, 42 per cent are PVI clubs on school sites, and 18 per cent are schools where children access clubs in the community.

The funding will run from September 2024 until April 2026 for schools and local authorities to introduce or expand childcare provision.

The executive lead member for children’s services, Cllr Edward Heron, is expected to give final approval on Tuesday, February 20.