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https://teaching.blog.gov.uk/2024/04/17/offering-wraparound-childcare-at-our-schools/

Offering wraparound childcare at our schools

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Executive Deputy Headteacher, Lyndsy Killip, at Queen’s Park Federation tells us about their experience of being an early adopter of wraparound childcare and the benefits wraparound has brought to their school community.

The Queen’s Park Federation Community

Queen’s Park Federation comprises of Dorothy Gardner and Mary Paterson Nursery Schools, Queen’s Park Primary School, and Queen’s Park Family Hub. Set within one of the most diverse communities in Westminster with high levels of deprivation, we cater for children aged 2-11 within our schools and support children and young people up to the age of 25 through our family hub.

Across our community we’re still seeing the impact of the pandemic and cost of living crisis. We’ve also seen parents struggling to get back into the workplace, particularly as a result of the cost of childcare and the lack of wraparound care available locally.

Being an early adopter

The impact of being an early adopter of wraparound childcare - offering both breakfast club and extended club – has meant that we have been able to extend our reach, engaging with more families than ever before.

We adapt to the needs of our families, whether through attending an after-school club and then an extended club service, through homework support, or the food we serve.

Our families know that there is a reliable service, run by people they are familiar with and trust as part of a school community.  Parents are able to build rapport with our team and see them as not just a wraparound care service, but as an extension of the school day, by providing continuity through the staff that work across our settings.

The wraparound childcare offer

Through our wraparound childcare offer, not only do we support some of the most vulnerable children within our community, but we give parents the option to go to work. Having this choice can help them cater for their own family’s needs, whether through earning vital income or supporting their own wellbeing and mental health.

We aim to meet the needs of families who currently find childcare unaffordable and want our childcare offer to extend to support their family circumstances.

We’ve opened our doors to families, offer a fair and affordable model with staff that our families know and trust. We understand our families and offer flexibility for their needs and offer both long and short-term access dependent on their needs.

My tips for other schools:

  • Listen to the needs of your parents – what will your offer look like? Can children dip into things happening after school but with the offer extended beyond this, e.g. clubs then an extended club service?
  • Think about who will run these services – we’ve found that having staff from school supporting our wraparound childcare offer has really supported onboarding parents. How are you utilising existing members of staff? Could they inform parents about the offer?
  • Can you accommodate a wider locality? Can you link with a network of other schools and team up to resource the offer?
  • If a child is attending extended club, their parents may be time poor and might struggle to offer support for certain things when the child is at home. What can be incorporated in the extended club to help support parents? For us, it’s offering a homework club.
  • Make it fun! If the children are happy, then it will support the parents in feeling happy!

Support with offering wraparound childcare

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 wraparound childcare guidance for schools explains the role of schools and academy trusts in supporting parents to access wraparound childcare.

Read the guidance.

 

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