School Milk

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 7 July 2022.

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Photo of Kate Osborne Kate Osborne Labour, Jarrow

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the planned changes to the claims process for the Nursery Milk Scheme from 1 August 2022, what assessment his Department has made of the administrative impact on education settings of those changes.

Photo of Kate Osborne Kate Osborne Labour, Jarrow

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the planned changes to the Nursery Milk Scheme claims process from 1 August 2022, what discussions his Department had with (a) milk suppliers and (b) education settings before announcing those changes?

Photo of Kate Osborne Kate Osborne Labour, Jarrow

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to undertake an assessment of the impact of changes to the Nursery Milk Scheme’s proposed claims process on the uptake of milk by eligible children.

Photo of Maggie Throup Maggie Throup The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The Nursery Milk Scheme allows registered childcare settings to reclaim the cost of providing one-third of a pint of milk per day to children under the age of five years old who attend the setting for at least two hours per day. The planned changes will require childcare settings to provide evidence to demonstrate that the claims made are correct, to reduce the risk of fraud and error.

No discussions with milk suppliers have been held concerning these changes. However, the Nursery Milk Reimbursement Unit conducted a survey of 3,790 childcare settings in November 2019 on the impact of the planned changes. The survey included responses from settings which use a milk agent, purchase milk via a local authority and purchase milk itself. The survey invited respondents to estimate how long it would take to upload attendance records and to provide general feedback on the reimbursement process. These responses indicated that 56% of settings estimate less than 10 minutes per claim to meet the new requirements and 34% provided an estimate of between 10 and 30 minutes per claim. The Department considered these findings prior to announcing the proposed changes.

No information is collected on the general use and uptake of milk by childcare settings and we have no plans to make such an assessment. However, information is collected on the number of claims submitted to and paid by the Nursery Milk Scheme. This information is regularly monitored and will be used to review the operation of these changes.

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