What is the National Wraparound Childcare Programme?

What is the National Wraparound Childcare Programme?

In the dynamic landscape of childcare in the UK, the National Wraparound Childcare Programme emerges as a beacon of support for parents and carers of primary school-aged children. Launched in March 2023, this initiative aims to revolutionise wraparound childcare, catering to the needs of approximately 1.6 million children.

As part of the comprehensive support structure, the National Wraparound Childcare Programme positions the Playworker Level 2 Apprenticeship as a key solution for training and supporting wraparound care in England. This 15-17 month work-based programme caters to playworkers in various settings, from breakfast and afterschool clubs to adventure playgrounds and beyond.

In the initial rollout, a significant 36% of parents embraced wraparound childcare for their primary-aged children. The government responded robustly, allocating an impressive £289 million for the National Wraparound Childcare Programme. This substantial funding signifies a commitment to enhancing the childcare landscape.

Children playing outside with parachute

Let's have a closer look into the key features that make the National Wraparound Childcare programme a game-changer and how the Playworker Level 2 will become the foundation of these changes:

Expansion Plans and Collaborative Design: From September 2024 onward, there are ambitious plans to expand wraparound care. What sets this programme apart is its collaborative design involving 16 local authorities. This joint effort ensures that the programme is finely tuned to meet the diverse needs of communities.

Chilren and play worker

Government Ambition: By 2026, the government envisions a scenario where all parents and carers of primary school-aged children who need it will have convenient access to term-time childcare. Operating from 8 am to 6 pm, this ambitious vision underscores the commitment to supporting families across the nation.

Financial Support for Parents: The plan introduces financial support mechanisms for parents, offering either Universal Credit childcare (with an 85% subsidy) or Tax-Free Childcare (covering 20% of costs, up to £2,000 a year, or up to £4,000 for disabled children up to age 16). This financial backing aims to alleviate the burden on families seeking quality childcare.

Local Authority-led and School-centred: A notable aspect of the National Wraparound Childcare Programme is its local authority-led approach. With the involvement of various childcare providers, the programme is designed to be school-centred. This ensures that the services are aligned with the specific needs of the local communities. For state schools and local authority led projects, the Playworker Level 2 apprenticeship will utilise the Local authority’s Apprenticeship Levy and become fully funded. This will support settings to employ additional staff, upskill existing staff with the most up-to-date practices and safeguarding.

Child in tunnel

Staffing Guidelines and Safety Measures: The programme provides clear guidelines for staffing, emphasising the importance of safety and welfare. Local authorities are mandated to allocate a designated wraparound lead, and funding can be utilised for staff training, including specialised training to support children with additional needs.

Holiday Provision Funding: Recognising the year-round needs of families, the government has earmarked £200 million annually for 153 upper-tier local authorities. This funding aims to provide free holiday provision for children receiving free school meals, ensuring a holistic approach to childcare. Holiday clubs can take advantage of the Playworker Level 2 Apprenticeship to build a consistent level of training across their provisions in England.

Child in adventure park

The National Wraparound Childcare Programme signifies a pivotal shift in childcare provision, prioritising accessibility, quality, and collaboration. As it unfolds, the programme holds the promise of transforming the childcare landscape, ensuring that families across the UK can confidently navigate the demands of work and life, knowing their children are in capable and caring hands.

This signifies how important it is to have specialised training and local authority support in place as a foundation to the roll-out. The Playworker Level 2 Apprenticeship is available now to private, voluntary and independent run settings in England.

To learn more about our Playworker Level 2 programme and apply, please click the button below. 

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