We’re supporting working families through the UK government’s biggest ever investment in childcare, to make it more affordable, available and flexible.
As part of this announcement, we’re expanding wraparound care for primary school children across England by increasing the number of places available, to support working families.
But what exactly is wraparound care? We explain everything you need to know, from what it is to how you can access it.
What is wraparound care?
Wraparound care is before and after school childcare for primary school aged children in England during term time, such as breakfast clubs and regular afterschool provision that runs until 6pm or later. The care should be available every school day outside of regular school hours and is aimed at helping parents access more childcare and work the hours they want to.
This is different from out-of-school activities, or school clubs, which are less frequent and can be a one-off activity.
Around 60 percent of primary schools across England currently offer wraparound care, both before and after school. Private, voluntary, and independent providers, including childminders and early years settings, are also able to offer wraparound care. Often, it’s run on a school site or another setting in the local area.
If you’re a parent looking for childcare options for your primary school child, speak to your child’s school or the Family Information Services in your local authority find out what wraparound care is currently available in your area.
From September 2024, parents can expect to see an increase in the number of wraparound childcare places available across the country.
We expect all parents who need it to have access to wraparound care, either from their school or from another provider in their local area, by September 2026.
We encourage parents to talk to their child’s school or the Family Information Service in their local authority about wraparound childcare, even if it’s not currently available.
Who will be eligible for wraparound care?
Our ambition is that all parents in England with primary school aged children will be able to access wraparound care in their local area.
How are we supporting local authorities to deliver the wraparound care expansion?
To make more available wraparound care possible, local authorities will receive a share of £289 million to help map out and accommodate the needs of parents in their area.
They will also be able to use the funds to test different ways to increase their wraparound options, including working with local private providers or partnering with schools.
We’re also giving local authorities a share of a further £100 million to ensure childcare settings in the area – including both early years and wraparound settings – have enough physical space to roll out the programme from next year.
What else are we doing to improve access to childcare for under 5s for working parents?
We’re doubling the amount we are investing in childcare over the next few years from around £4 billion to around £8 billion each year.
As part of this investment, by September 2025, working parents will be able to claim 30 hours childcare a week, over 38 weeks of the year, all the way through from nine months up to their child starting school.
Nurseries are also set to receive a £204 million cash boost which they can use to ease cost pressures such as staffing costs, training and bills.
You can read more about how we’re investing in childcare in England on the Education Hub.