Extended Services: Coronavirus

Department for Education written question – answered on 10th February 2021.

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Photo of Thangam Debbonaire Thangam Debbonaire Shadow Secretary of State for Housing

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make financial support available to playscheme and breakfast club providers during the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Vicky Ford Vicky Ford The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

We appreciate that the wraparound childcare sector, like many sectors, is facing unprecedented financial pressures as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. It is for this reason that the government has made a range of financial packages of support available for businesses to access throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. This includes tax relief, business loans or cash grants through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, as well as a £594 million discretionary fund for councils and the devolved administrations to support local businesses that may not be eligible for other support, during the current national lockdown. More information on this can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support.

Additionally, we have encouraged all local authorities to consider which local grants could be used to bolster this part of the childcare sector in their areas, to safeguard sufficient childcare provision for children of critical workers and vulnerable children. This includes funding streams such as the holiday activities and food programme. The expanded programme, which comprises a £220 million fund to be delivered through grants to local authorities, will be expanded to reach all local authority areas over the Easter, summer and Christmas holidays in 2021.

The National School Breakfast Programme continues to be funded, and our suppliers Family Action along with Magic Breakfast are working closely with participating schools to make sure that children can still receive healthy breakfasts during this period, including for children staying at home.

Family Action have reported that more than 1,000 schools in disadvantaged areas are registered to receive breakfast deliveries from this programme during the COVID-19 outbreak.

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