The demand is great and the opportunity huge for schools wanting to offer wraparound care for their students.
This guide looks at what wraparound care entails, how it can benefit your school and what to do if you feel your school is unable to provide the care yourself.
As the name suggests, wraparound care refers to childcare that wraps around the conventional school day.
Often referred to as breakfast clubs and after-school clubs, wraparound care sessions take place on-site at the school and are an opportunity to extend social and learning opportunities for the children in its care. The sessions usually cost a nominal fee per day and are charged by the session.
Wraparound care can also refer to holiday childcare which is held throughout the school holidays and are usually themed to provide an active and wide-ranging timetable to keep children stimulated and entertained.
Wraparound childcare sessions often feature a healthy meal or snack, which is nutritionally balanced, giving the children something filling to fuel their day or keep energy levels up until home-time.
All of these childcare options provide a lifeline to busy working parents, offer an opportunity to generate income for the school and give the children a stimulating environment to continue learning throughout the school week.
See wraparound childcare in action at University of Cambridge Primary School.
Schools are expected to provide wraparound care if there is sufficient demand. Ideally, this will be on their own premises, but can be nearby. By offering wraparound childcare from 8am to 6pm, schools help parents balance work and family commitments, whilst offering children a broader range of experiences and interests.
This is not to say that all schools have to provide out-of-school care themselves.
Some schools opt to fulfil the care themselves, whilst others outsource the provision to providers such as Premier Education, who are able to support by providing fully qualified coaches to run sessions which are educationally stimulating, socially orientated and get kids physically active.
Research by NatCen shows that wraparound care has a positive impact on children’s outcomes, with those who participate in organised sports and join after school clubs displaying improved academic performance and social skills.
Among disadvantaged children, those who attend after school clubs fare better than their peers who do not partake in such groups.
Research also shows that children who participate in organised sports and physical activities at any time during primary school have better social, emotional and behavioural skills than those who do not take part.
It is clear that, for a school and the children within its care, there are many positives to organising wraparound childcare.
There are many benefits to offering wraparound care:
When working with a specialist external partner such as Premier Education, schools can rest assured that the staffing logistics and session planning are taken care of. This reduction in admin and stress enables the school to focus on its daytime provision.
Similarly, there is a cost-benefit to working with Premier Education. Having them as the wraparound care partner will secure up to £10k in hall hire fees; income which the school can reinvest in their school facilities.
Organising attendance and registers can be complicated, with parents booking children in and out of clubs as their needs change. A provider such a Premier Education will have its own online booking system, enabling parents to book and pay for places directly and for registers to be generated at the touch of a button.
Having an expert coach trained in a wide range of activities, be it sporting pursuits, arts and crafts, or wellbeing activities, can provide a varied timetable of sessions. This exposes children to activities they may not ordinarily experience and encourages social interaction, teamwork and boosts confidence.
Wraparound childcare presents another opportunity for a school to demonstrate its ethos. Whether it’s reinforcing key messages or spotlighting areas of focus, the sessions can be tailored to make them wholly relevant to the child’s school.
Participating in a social and stimulating activity before or after school can improve a child’s cognitive function, engagement and confidence. If the session is themed on a particular sport, it will also bring great physical benefits to the children, something which is highly relevant with childhood obesity on the rise and not enough children following the recommended government guidance of 60 minutes of physical activity per day.
With over 20 years’ experience offering premium childcare provision, Premier Education has worked with thousands of primary schools across the UK.
Applying its nationwide network of fully qualified sports coaches, Premier Education delivers before and after school sessions, as well as curricular and extracurricular sports coaching, wellbeing and school holiday camps.
As the UK’s No.1 provider of sport and physical activity to primary schools, Premier Education brings a leading approach to wraparound care, using the sessions as an opportunity to improve the health and wellbeing of children at these cornerstones of the school day.
Wraparound care with Premier Education is an opportunity to energise young children, which is why sessions are designed to be meaningful and inspiring, with the onus on the benefits of child wellbeing and living a physically active life.
Children are able to access a diverse range of stimulating and engaging activities, from craft sessions, sporting pursuits, games and wellbeing sessions.
Food is an important part of the programme, with nutritionally balanced meals and snacks provided. This ensures that children start the day well-fed with a healthy breakfast and are able to keep concentration and energy levels up throughout the day.
Find out more about how you can strengthen your school childcare offering and provide additional support to families through Premier Education’s Wraparound Care.