Premier Education

5 challenges schools face when implementing effective wraparound care

Up until recently, wraparound childcare in primary schools has been a bonus for parents whose schools happened to offer it. It’s a useful facility for those who struggle to do school drop-offs and collections while carefully juggling standard working hours and other responsibilities.

However, with the government now putting pressure on primary schools to ensure all children have access to wraparound care by September 2026, this in-demand facility is set to become a provision all primary schools need to start planning for.

We recently conducted a survey* to understand how schools are responding to the increasing demands of wraparound childcare. With increase in demand, comes challenges and obstacles for schools. We have identified these challenges and will explain how Premier Education can help to overcome them.

The top five challenges schools are facing in providing wraparound care are:

  1. Lack of internal resources
  2. Staffing issues
  3. Too much administration
  4. No process for payment
  5. Not set for catering before and after school

These challenges might seem unmanageable for your primary school, but it’s safe to say that wraparound childcare can be made easy and affordable for your school when choosing a provider to do the heavy lifting. Let’s explore the challenges and how these can be resolved below.

1. Lack of internal resources

For the schools that run their wraparound care facility internally, the ‘lack of internal resources’ was the main challenge they faced. Many primary schools’ resources are just too stretched to run any additional provision outside of delivering the curriculum on a daily basis. Finding the people and developing new systems to manage is a big ask for busy school staff.

2. Staffing issues

Ensuring enough staff to cover these periods and dealing with staff absences was another key challenge. Having a wraparound childcare scheme does mean some staff members in schools will need to work additional hours, which can be hard to arrange as it is, but any absences throw major curveballs. Staff wellbeing has become a higher priority in recent years too, which ensures staff are not overworked and stretched, making it harder to provide wraparound care before and after school clubs with internal staff.

3. Too much administration

From booking children in and managing registers to planning sessions that align with your school’s curriculum and ensuring you have what you need for the activities, wraparound care places a lot of additional administration on teachers. This is administrative work that needs to be done in addition to their normal duties.

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4. No process for payment

Ensuring parents can pay quickly and easily is another challenge. Time-poor working parents appreciate being able to book and pay in just a few clicks, so there is a need to establish an online payment system. For example, paying cash during pick-up time can be inconvenient for parents, and is also not beneficial for the school as it requires more time that could be used on more important tasks instead.

5. Not set up for catering before and after school

Wraparound care isn’t just about providing activities for children, it also requires food for the children attending. For the children who attend before school, a nutritious and low-sugar breakfast is needed to set them up for the day, and for the after-school session, children need a healthy snack. Often, schools don’t have the resources to provide food outside of school hours so this can be a big challenge for many schools.

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How Premier Education can help with wraparound childcare in primary schools

The challenges mentioned above aren’t surprising – wraparound care is a time-consuming provision that requires a lot of additional resources in already-stretched schools. One way schools can have the best of both worlds and offer quality wraparound care without the stress of the additional management and administration is to outsource the running to an external provider, like us. By offering breakfast before school and after-school clubs, you can support parents as well as extend social and learning opportunities for your pupils.

As the UK’s No.1 activity provider to primary schools, we have 20 years of experience providing activity sessions to schools across the UK. As well as this, we are currently the second largest wraparound care provider in the country, ensuring you get the best support possible.

The wraparound care cost is not as expensive as you think

This will no doubt immediately conjure up images of hefty invoices, as surely such a niche service is expensive? Well, let us dispel those myths and highlight the benefits of having Premier Education run your wraparound care.

Firstly, our wraparound care provision is parent-funded, so nothing comes out of school budgets, and parents can use tax-free childcare and childcare vouchers to help fund sessions. Not only this, but your school can actually make money from our before and after school clubs – up to £10,000 a year in hall-hire fees.

Premier Education cover all the resources

No internal resources are needed, we cover everything, from booking and payment to managing registers, staffing, planning engaging and varied sessions, and providing resources as well as healthy, nutritious breakfasts and after-school snacks.

We also work closely with the schools to make sure our sessions are run in line with the school curriculum, tailoring sessions and ensuring consistency of team members, providing you with a bespoke service.

Don’t just take our word for it…

Simon Underhill, headteacher at Wymondham Prep School in Norfolk is one of many headteachers who appreciates the value our team provides. Here’s what he had to say:

“The service that Premier Education provides our school is exceptional. It’s a really niche job role and the recruitment of staffing to fulfil the role is a major challenge.

“For headteachers out there, if you’re struggling to organise and staff and run your wraparound care, then definitely look at Premier Education.”

Have peace of mind with Premier Education’s wraparound childcare provision. Find out more about wraparound care and discover how it will benefit your school today.

*Survey sent to 23,045 schools, July 2023