To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department took to increase the uptake of the Nursery Milk Scheme in each of the last five years; and what his Department's target is for take up of the Nursery Milk Scheme in each of the next five years.
The Nursery Milk scheme reimburses childcare providers the cost of a third of a pint of milk for children under five years old who attend for two or more hours a day. The scheme has been running since the 1940s and we believe that awareness of the scheme is high, with over 50,000 childcare providers currently registered with the Nursery Milk Reimbursement Unit. The Department provides guidance on its website explaining the way in which the scheme is currently administered. Information about the scheme is also available on the Nursery Milk Reimbursement Unit's website at:
The Department does not plan to set targets for the uptake of the Nursery Milk scheme. However, we are currently consulting on a range of options for modernising the operation of the scheme to improve its value for money while ensuring that all under fives who are entitled to it, in childcare continue to receive free milk. The consultation will further raise the profile of the scheme and offer an opportunity for childcare providers to give their thoughts on improving the operation of the scheme.