Parents dropping kids off early at school in Gwynedd county may have to pay £16 a month

Reporter:

Arron Evans

Parents looking to drop their children off early at school, may soon have to pay £16 a month under new plans put forward by Gwynedd Council.

The authority has unveiled plans to charge parents if they want their children to attend the county-wide school Breakfast Club Scheme before 8.25am.

The local authority said they are having to introduce the charge - for children who arrive between 8am and 8.25am - as they struggle with mounting budget cuts.

They believe that the fee - around £16 a month - will cover a proposed £100,000 cut in funding for the scheme, while also covering the administrative costs of collecting the fees.

However, between 8.25am and 8.50am where the breakfasts themselves are served, parents will not have to pay the charge and those with three or more children will be given a discount.

Currently, 75 primary schools in Gwynedd offer pre-school childcare between 8am and 8.50am.

In a report, the council said: “Following a consultation period, it is recommended to charge a fee of 80p for the childcare element before the breakfast club, giving a discount to families with three or more children, with these arrangements to commence on November 6, 2017.

“Due to the enormous financial pressure that Gwynedd Council faces as a result of financial cuts from the Government, reducing the money spent on pre-school childcare arrangements was one of the options submitted as part of the Gwynedd challenge public consultation.

“At the meeting of the full council on 3 March 2016, it was decided that £100,000 should be cut from the breakfast budget.

“The budget for the ‘Free Breakfast’ scheme before implementing the cut is £557,300, which is mainly used for staffing costs and food costs.”

Gwynedd Council’s Head of Finance Dafydd Edwards said: “Having reviewed the relevant financial modeling, based on the information available, I confirm that it is reasonable to assume that charging an 80p fee will generate sufficient income to realize the required financial saving.”

Detailed consultation work has been undertaken on the options to move the matter forward and this is dealt with in detail in the report.

Email:

arron.evans@nwn.co.uk

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